Engaging Clinical Nurses in Research: Nurses' Experiences Delivering a Communication Intervention in a Behavioral Oncology Clinical Trial

Leslie Landon, Stacey Crane, Stacy Nance, Kristin Stegenga, Brooke Cherven, Luz N. Perez Prado, Karen Dawn Butrum, Barbara Beacham, Joan Haase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Despite the recognized need for clinical nurses to engage in the conduct of research, little is known about their research experiences. This article describes the experiences of nurses who delivered the communication intervention in a behavioral oncology clinical trial for parents of adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer. A qualitative thematic analysis was conducted of nurse interveners' (NIs') reflections on their experiences delivering the communication intervention. Ten data-generating questions were developed to guide NIs' reflections. Twelve NIs responded via verbal discussions. Six of these also provided written responses. Overall, nurses' experiences as interveners were powerful and positive, and included time and space to be fully present with patients and families. Nurse interveners identified barriers to their involvement in research related to time constraints, administrative support, physical space to privately conduct the intervention, and difficulties maintaining expertise with the intervention. The importance of ongoing collaboration between nurses, unit staff, leaders, and study teams was corroborated. An unexpected finding was the importance of reflective clinical research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-185
Number of pages11
JournalNursing administration quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was primarily supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01 CA162181. Additional funding sources included training grants from National Institute of Nursing Research (F31 NR015393; T32 NR007066), National Cancer Institute (T32 CA117865), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars (RWJF72509), and American Cancer Society (DSCN-13-267-01-SCN; 17-078-01-SCN). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies. No conflict of interest was declared by the authors. Correspondence: Stacey Crane, PhD, RN, CPON, Indiana University School of Nursing, 600 Barnhill Dr, NU317A, Indianapolis, IN 46202 (cranes@iupui.edu). DOI: 10.1097/NAQ.0000000000000341

Funding Information:
Support from leaders is a persistent concern related to nurses’ involvement in research. Leadership support needs to be tangible, visible, and ongoing for clinical nurses’ involvement in research to be successful (eg, funding, approved time away from other work responsibilities, and recognition for advancement). Support cannot simply be for the intervention delivery but rather needs to include time and resources for training, prein-tervention preparation, and postintervention documentation. When research is supported by grant funding, leaders may need to consider how to effectively use that funding to ensure that sufficient staff members are dedicated to research activities. Sites involved in SMART II did not typically hire additional staff to manage study-related activities. Instead, existing staff took on SMART II in addition to their other work activities. While the use of existing staff can be effective, it is important to the success of studies that staff are not overburdened, and that nurses have sufficient support to be able to take time from their other responsibilities to complete study activities.


  • nurse-patient relations
  • nursing administration
  • pediatric cancer
  • randomized controlled trials
  • reflective clinical research

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Engaging Clinical Nurses in Research: Nurses' Experiences Delivering a Communication Intervention in a Behavioral Oncology Clinical Trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this