Charting the Course of Pediatric Nursing Research: The SPN Delphi Study

Green et al. (2014) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

pediatric nursing

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

North America - USA

Why was it conducted at all?

In order to inform the care of children at this pivotal time in the history of healthcare reform, the Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN) set out to identify priorities for nursing research. The new healthcare reform laws provide a complex series of changes in healthcare delivery, payment, coverage and education. Several of the provisions will dramatically influence nursing in the future. As we embark on this critical time in the history of the profession, it is essential to identify the nursing research priorities to guide nurse scientists whose work seeks to improve the health of children and their families. In addition, with the reality of scarce research dollars, providing evidence to help drive the conversation about priorities for pediatric nursing research is essential. This project represents the national constituency of pediatric nurses who are members of SPN.

What was the objective?

to identify priorities for nursing research and key challenges facing pediatric nursing

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 10 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

January 2011 - January 2012

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: Delphi round 1: 2 broad open-ended questions to elicit qualitative responses: In pediatric nursing practice what are 3 problems that need to be studied through nursing research? What do you see as the 3 greatest challenges to pediatric nursing in the next 10 years?, 1644 responses. Step 2: data processing: responses reviewed, coded, collapsed, 49 items on the research needs list, 56 items on the challenges list. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to rate each item, narrowing down the list to 23 research priorities and 23 practice challenges. Step 4: Delphi round 3: list of 23 research priorities and 23 practice challenges: participants were asked to select the top 10 research priorities and top 10 practice challenges

Which stakeholders took part?

Society of pediatric nurses (SPN). Delphi round 1: 274 participants. Delphi round 2: 141 participants. Delphi round 3: 104 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Members of the Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN) were recognized by the investigators as experts in pediatric care and practice. Members practice in a wide variety of roles (clinical, academic, research, and administration) and settings (hospitals, schools of nursing, outpatient clinics, community agencies and school-based clinics). With permission from the SPN Board of Directors, the governing body for the Society, information about the study and an invitation to participate were sent via e-mail to all members. A Web link to the study was also placed on the SPN website for each round.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.