Nursing Research Topics

AORN topics for evidence-based practice and clinical scholarship include nursing priorities for patient safety, team functioning, systems of care delivery, perioperative education and administration, gap analysis, and outcomes related to guidelines.

AORN Research Priorities in Perioperative Nursing 2018 - 2023

AORN is dedicated to incorporating research and evidence-based practice as a foundation for perioperative nursing to provide quality patient care.

AORN believes:

  • Research should be the foundation for perioperative nursing practice.
  • Evidence-based practice is fundamental to quality patient care.
  • Incorporating research findings into perioperative nursing practice is critical to improve patient outcomes.

The following AORN Research Priorities for 2018-2023 serve as a pathway for the advancement of perioperative nursing science through research and translation to evidence-based practices that build best practices in perioperative settings. The ultimate goal of these priorities is the preparation of perioperative nurses who deliver quality care to continually improve surgical patient outcomes.

Priority I


Build the science of perioperative nursing practice through the discovery and translation of evidence-based strategies in the clinical setting.

This priority addresses clinical practices that relate to:

  • Team function/human factors
  • Impact of nurse characteristics
    • Self-care practices
    • Resilience and emotional intelligence
    • Certification and experience
  • Perioperative nurse education
    • Transition to practice
    • Continued clinical competency
  • Horizontal violence/bullying
  • Cultural and generational diversity
  • Perioperative nursing leadership
    • Management/staffing models
    • Systems of care delivery
    • Technology for decision support

Priority II


Produce valid evidence to inform ongoing development and revision of the AORN Guidelines for Perioperative Practice.

This priority addresses research gaps found in the AORN guidelines that relate to:

  • Aseptic practice
  • Surgical attire
  • Equipment and product safety
  • Patient and worker safety
  • Patient care
  • Sterilization and disinfection

Priority III


Examine and link sentinel perioperative indicators to promote positive patient outcomes through evidence-based practices.

This priority addresses patient outcomes that relate to:

  • Patient safety culture
  • Medication safety
  • Patient handling and positioning
  • Patient education practices
  • Location of delivery of care
    • Inpatient
    • Ambulatory
    • Office-based
    • Minimally invasive surgery and hybrid ORs
  • Healthcare legislative and regulatory initiatives
  • Technology and environmental controls
  • Vulnerable populations
  • Influence of cost/product evaluation

Download AORN Guideline Research Gaps 2018