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New publication highlights research by VUMC nurses

Jul. 12, 2018, 10:01 AM


Nurse researchers have a powerful new outlet to share their work with the Vanderbilt community. It’s called The Empowered Nurse, a twice-yearly, peer-reviewed journal for and about nursing research. The Office of Nursing Research released the first issue in May in celebration of Nurses Week.

“It’s open to any nurses, all levels, to submit,” said Elizabeth Card, MSN, RN, a nursing research consultant and nurse practitioner who is the chief executive editor of the publication.

“We wanted to make sure we had representation from all nurses. We have work from nurses in The Vanderbilt Clinic, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt Behavior Health, Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital (VUAH), clinical nurses, advance practice, administration, and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN).”

The debut issue, which has 36 pages and includes multiple articles, abstracts and research presentation posters, was the brainchild of Card and Nancy Wells, DNSc, RN, who recently retired after 25 years as director of Nursing Research for VUMC and remains a research professor of Nursing at VUSN. It can be found electronically at A VUNet ID and password is required.

Card trained staff nurses to be peer reviewers for the publication. She said her office had several goals for the journal, which was the culmination of two years of preparation. For one, it connects nurses working on projects throughout the enterprise who may not know one another.

Card mentioned an example — a nurse working to decrease noise in the operating room at VUAH was able to be connected to nurses at Children’s Hospital working on a similar effort.

The journal supports nurses who disseminate research from Vanderbilt to get feedback and helps nurses become better writers and students of research literature.

Ultimately, it is intended to inspire nurses who may have never considered the opportunity to become researchers. Vanderbilt nurses can get mentorship and support throughout the research process from the Office of Nursing Research.

“The more nurses that you get doing this — reading the literature, completing projects, writing something — the more they can inspire and teach other nurses how to implement projects on their units,” Card said.

Prospective authors can submit their work at Card emphasized that publishing internally does not prevent authors from publishing externally.

Executive Chief Nursing Officer Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, said the journal represents Vanderbilt Nursing’s growing emphasis on research and evidence-based practice.

“It is a joy to read this new journal,” she said. “Vanderbilt nurses are contributing to research in many areas, and this project will continue to elevate the very important work they are doing.”

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