Clinical Nurses Research Priorities in Hospital Settings: A Delphi Survey

For which topic were research priorities identified?

clinical nursing

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - Norway

Why was it conducted at all?

Identifying research priorities centered on patient care may contribute to effective and efficient health care services (Al-Yateem et al., 2018; Schoenly, 2015; Struwe et al., 2018). Bedside nurses are well-positioned to identify the most important problems in patient care and to ask clinically relevant research questions (Wielenga et al., 2015). Thus, the clinical nurse plays a key role in the development of a research culture (Berthelsen & Hølge-Hazelton, 2017; Rytterström et al., 2009), and involving them in developing research priorities may increase their engagement in research and enhance quality development in nursing practice.

What was the objective?

to identify the research priorities of clinical nurses to develop a research program at a health care services system that includes three hospitals

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 40 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

April 2017 - October 2017

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: Delphi round 1: clinical nurses asked to list problems/issues in their ward that needed to be studied: "What do you see as problems/issues in your ward that need to be studied?", 1944 answers were submitted. Step 2: data processing: submissions were clustered into thematic domains, grouped into one of ten areas, resulting in 89 potential research items. Step 3: Delphi round 2: nurses were asked to rate the priority of each of the 89 potential research items, resulting in list of top 40 research priorities

Which stakeholders took part?

Clinical nurses from three local hospitals in two counties in Southern Norway. Delphi round 1: 933 participants. Delphi round 2: 543 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

A number of strategies was used to inform nurses about the survey and encourage them to participate. This included attending staff and council meetings and having individual discussions with hospital staff. Information about the study was also published on the hospital’s internet site and repeated several times during the study period.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders not only participated but were also actively involved in the research prioritization process: They were part of an advisory board. The advisory board consisted of a group of managers at the local hospitals and three researchers from two different universities. The members were involved in planning and conducting the study and discussed how to best reach the nurses.