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Ohio Valley Chapter Update - June, 2016

Written by Lori Brunner

I (Lori Brunner, BSN, RN) and Kristal Hatter, BSN, RN are the Co- Presidents of the Ohio Valley IACRN Chapter whose goal is to unify research nurses across the Academic Health Center and community by providing a forum for networking and advancing our research nursing practice.  The mission of The Ohio Valley Chapter of the IACRN is to facilitate collaboration and best practices between tristate institutions, to provide educational opportunities for the professional development of research nurses and to advance clinical research nursing as a specialty practice. 

In May of 2014, Kristal and I worked with our nursing director to identify a core group of research nurses across the Academic Health Center who might be interested in helping us start an Ohio Valley chapter of the IACRN.  We had 9 clinical research nurses in attendance.  There was a lot of positive energy surrounding the possibility of being able to facilitate collaboration and best practices between institutions.  The Ohio Valley region has a vast population of clinical research nurses working on grant funded and industry sponsored studies whose spectrum of care encompasses all ages and healthcare specialties. We were accepted by the parent IACRN organization into a one year pilot phase to determine sustainability as a fully chartered chapter of the IACRN.   The Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training (CCTST) was established in 2005 as a collaborative effort among the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, UC Health and the Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. It is vested in the success of the research community, including research nurses, across the academic health center and beyond. The CCTST provided financial support for the pilot phase of our chapter development.  Their support allowed us to offer food at each of our meetings, videotape presentations and has provided an avenue for communication through a tech supported webpage on their site (www.cctst.uc.edu/iacrn).   We had 3 successful meetings during the pilot phase with representation from 7-8 various institutions around our area. Our first meeting (February 2015) was informational about the IACRN followed by a presentation titled Nurse Conducted Research:  Barriers and Solutions.  At our 2nd meeting, we had a presentation titled Participants just don’t understand….or do they?  This presentation provided information about simplifying the consent form.  The second part of this meeting was dedicated to a panel discussion with representatives from 4 different institutions answering questions from the audience.  The panel discussion helped facilitate networking and generated an idea to create an informational video to educate the public and put a face to reseach. A subcommittee was recently formed to work on this project which is being funded through the CCTST.  Our 3rd meeting was a celebration of a successful pilot phase.   We had a presentation by the Director of Ethics at Mercy Health who talked to us about Ethics and Safety in Human Subjects Research.  This was a well-received presentation that generated good discussion.  We were able to offer contact hours for 2 of the presentations this year.  They were recorded and are available on our webpage.  We have sent out 2 evaluation tools through REDCap, one at the beginning of the pilot phase and one at the end of the pilot phase.  These tools have helped guide our chapter activities and vision.  We have had research nurses attend our meetings from various institutions including CCHMC, UC Health, the Cincinnati VA Medical Center, Shriner’s Hospital, TriHealth, The Christ Hospital, Oncology Hematology Care, Inc., CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services,  Mercy Hospital and INC Research.  We have a webpage through the IACRN and the CCTST.  The webpages house our meeting minutes, announcements and recorded presentations.

In November of 2015, we submitted our application for consideration as a fully chartered chapter of the IACRN.  We received notice of our acceptance as the Ohio Valley IACRN Chapter in February of 2016.  We are grateful for the support of the CCTST, the IACRN parent organization and especially our colleagues throughout the Ohio Valley region.  Without them, this chapter would not exist!

One of the challenges we continue to face is planning meetings that appeal to a broad audience.  We have research nurses who work with all ages and across the healthcare spectrum of specialties.  Our research nurses work in a variety of clinical settings, some work with the regulatory aspect of studies and some are PhD prepared nurses working on their own research studies.  We continue to refer back to our survey results for topics of interest and have recently expanded our leadership structure to include 4 board members with diverse research nursing backgrounds.  We hope this will broaden our perspective so that we can better meet the needs of the research nurses in our area.  A committee has also been formed to work on the video project which is being funded by the CCTST. 

If you are thinking about starting a pilot chapter, what are you waiting for?  There is a wealth of support through the IACRN and the community of research nurses.  We are very grateful for the support from the Chapter Governance Committee, especially Mary Larkin, who mentored us through this entire process.  We believe the key ingredients for our success so far has been networking, the mentorship through the IACRN, networking, networking, and offering contact hours when possible.  It has been a very rewarding experience filled with professional growth and development opportunities!     Please feel free to contact myself (Lori.Brunner@cchmc.org) or Kristal (Kristal.hatter@cchmc.org) with any questions or even if you just need a little encouragement!

International Association for Clinical Research Nurses

9 Newport Drive, Suite 200
Forest Hill, MD 21050, USA
443-640-1041 (Phone)
443-640-1031 (Fax)

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