Nursing Partnerships in Research and Quality Improvement Within a Large Integrated Health Care System

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Within a large integrated health care system that includes local, regional, and national medical centers and offices, quality and patient safety teams, and research institutes, more than 58 000 nurses are employed, with the vast majority providing point-of-care service to patients and members. A small but increasingly important number of nurses are involved in quality improvement and research teams to improve patient care. Within this environment, a number of developments point to a growing need for nursing leadership in systems-level and delivery science policies and research. This article describes a partnership between clinical operations leaders and researchers (nurse scientists) to determine and utilize evidence-based practices to meet a system goal. The first objective of this article is to describe the barriers and potential solutions in combining practice, quality improvement, and research efforts across regions within a large integrated health care system. The second objective is to describe the uniqueness and importance of nurse leaders across interdisciplinary teams to simultaneously pursue research, quality improvement, and operational goals for the organization.

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