Nursing research


Our mission is to support the delivery of optimal patient care at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Allina Health through clinical inquiry, discovery and the integration of new discoveries into clinical practice. The focus of our investigator-initiated nursing research targets clinical phenomenon that influence patient safety, nursing satisfaction and quality of life. By exploring and addressing issues from a multi-factor approach including the individual, family, professional, system and environment perspective; nursing research provides a unique contribution to the discovery and integration of advances in patient care.

Nursing research at Abbott Northwestern Hospital supports the process of clinical inquiry throughout all the phases including problem identification, scoping the problem, enlisting study investigators, literature review and synthesis, study design, analytic plan, budget planning, funding sources and dissemination plans. Patient safety is a main focus of nursing research at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. We use a variety of clinical inquiry methods including: quality improvement, evidence based practice, and collaborative and independent research.

Independent and Collaborative Nursing Research

Our Independent and Collaborative Nursing Research Studies are dedicated to discovering new knowledge to advance nursing practice and fill in knowledge gaps. Current research topics include:

  • Pressure Ulcer/Injury Early Detection with Sub-epidermal Moisture
  • Validity and Reliability of the Pressure Ulcer Detection Tool
  • Maternal and Fetal Outcomes of the Critically Ill OB Patient
  • Simulation and Virtual Reality to Enhance Interprofessional Teams
  • Impact of a Hybrid Perioperative Program for Perioperative Nursing on Retention, Satisfaction and Performance

Evidence-Based Practice Scholar Program

The Abbott Northwestern Interdisciplinary Evidence-Based Practice program, in partnership with St. Catherine University, is an 18-month program that allows staff nurses to address a relevant clinical practice issue or concern.

Projects include:

  • Predictors of Violence in Mental Health
  • Knowledge and Confidence of Multidisciplinary Nurses in the Care of the Critically Ill OB patient.
  • Nurse’s Ability to Recognize, Prevent, and Treat Opioid-Induced Respiratory Depression
  • Program to Enhance Staff Nurses Knowledge, Confidence, and Ability to Provide Non Pharmacologic Support for the Laboring Mother
  • Reducing the Use of Central Lines for Lab Draws
  • Reducing Delirium in the Neuro Patient Population

Advanced Practice Program

The Advanced Practice Program was formalized during 2018 with the expectation that all staff nurses involved in an advanced practice program would collaborate with the director of nursing research to identify a project of interest that aligns with Abbott Northwestern Hospital and/or Allina Health priorities and needs. Advanced Practice students represent a variety of academic centers including the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, St. Catherine’s University, Bethel College and Augsburg College. Students also represent a variety of clinical settings including: the emergency department, medical/surgical units, critical care, mental health, leadership, primary care and The Mother/Baby Center.

Topics include:

  • Post intensive care syndrome in ICU
  • Stroke recovery and support
  • Trauma-informed care
  • Patient discharge medication education
  • Secondary trauma in healthcare providers

Patients and study participants

Our nursing research team, in collaboration with other research teams within Allina Health, conducts studies with both patient and staff participants. We work diligently to ensure all research activities are ethical, safe and rigorous. We take various measures to protect study participant safety and all of our projects get the appropriate level of approval from Allina Health’s Institutional Review Board.

Patients must give their permission to participate in a research study—participation is strictly voluntary. If a participant wishes, they may revoke their consent at any time during a study. Prior to all studies, volunteers must meet specific criteria. These include factors such as gender, age and health status. These criteria are to ensure the safety of all participants and make certain that researchers will be able to answer questions that may be presented.

Participants in nursing research clinical trials have the distinct opportunity to receive initial access to the newest treatments and medication.

Being a participant in a research study is a unique opportunity. You are able to be an active participant in healthcare and benefit others by contributing to the ways we care for patients as well as our nurses.

Our research team

Ruth Bryant, PhD, MS, RN, CWOCN
Principal research scientist, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, part of Allina Health

Current clinical trials