Ready to Build Your Competency in Research?

Publish Date: January 26, 2022

Evidence informs every aspect of a perioperative nurse’s practice and AORN thinks nurses should play an even stronger role in collecting and evaluating that evidence.

That’s why AORN is launching a new research track in March at AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo in New Orleans, according to periop nursing research expert Rodney Hicks, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, associate dean for administration and research for the College of Graduate Nursing at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif.

Hicks is a member of the AORN Nursing Research Committee that is leading AORN’s work in shaping a new research focus to help increase nurses’ knowledge about research processes and current studies that shape practice. 

“Perioperative nurses have a unique language in clinical care; however, there is another equal language in research. We are asking the nurses to speak both of the languages,” Hicks explains.

Linking Research Concepts to Evidence-Based Practice

One important reason for nurses to increase their research knowledge is to give them the confidence and competence to make a skilled decision in reviewing a research article to determine if there is sufficient data quality to influence practice.

This process of evaluating evidence quality is exactly what AORN nurses do when combing through hundreds and even thousands of published studies to write and revise AORN’s practice guidelines.

Hicks and his committee members want nurses to feel comfortable evaluating research at this level and understand how evidence quality is linked to evidence-based practices because doing so “shows perioperative nurses’ commitment to safe, high-quality care.”

The Research Track At-a-Glance

As the first step in advancing research understanding, the AORN Nursing Research Committee has built a collection of education sessions for the new research track offered at AORN’s annual conference in March that will give nurses the capable skills to apply research concepts to evidence-based practice. These sessions review current evidence itself—such as newly published research on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted perioperative nursing practice in a session titled “Working During the Recent Pandemic-A Qualitative Study.”

Some other Covid-related research track sessions include:

  • OR Nurses and Redeployment During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • The Lived Experience of Perioperative and Ambulatory RNs Displaced to Acute Care Settings During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Phenomenological Study

Research track sessions will cover other aspects of perioperative care, such as:

  • The Relationship Between Preoperative Smoking Status and Surgical Site Infections: A Secondary Analysis of the ACSs’ 2019 NSQIP Data
  • Using Malpractice Claims Data to Identify Risks in Nursing Practice
  • Air Movement in the OR: Research Answering Questions Related to Air Circulation and Use of HEPA Towers for Airborne Isolation Cases

Sessions in the new research track will also address the nuts and bolts of conducting research, such as a session on securing Institutional Review board (IRB) approval when required for quality improvement projects.

“Our topics are broad,” Hicks notes. “We selected sessions based on the originality of the science and the relevance to perioperative practice.”

Beyond the AORN conference, this ongoing research focus will leverage the AORN Journal, and other AORN resources to help advance the research competencies of perioperative nurses. 

“We envision a day where nurses are leaders in the discovery of knowledge and translation of that knowledge,” Hicks shares. “We highly recognize that the perioperative nurses are clinical experts—by bridging this clinical expertise with research knowledge, nurses will truly advance patient safety.”

Check out all of the education sessions offered in the new research track so you can add research competency to your list of educational goals while attending 2022 AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo.