Nursing Research Priorities in the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN): Reaching Consensus Through the Delphi Method

For which topic were research priorities identified?

pediatric emergency care

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

North America - USA

Why was it conducted at all?

Pediatric emergency nurses who are directly involved in clinical care are in key positions to identify the needs and concerns of patients and their families. The 2010 Institute of Medicine report on the future of nursing supports the active participation of nurses in the design and implementation of solutions to improve health outcomes. Although prior efforts have assessed the need for research education within the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN), no systematic efforts have assessed nursing priorities for research in the pediatric ED setting.

What was the objective?

to identify research priorities that specify the effect of nursing care on patient outcomes and to determine clinical and workforce research priorities generated from pediatric emergency nurses in the PECARN network

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 10 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

August 2017 - May 2018

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: Delphi round 1: participants were asked to list 3 priorities for each question: "Please think about your everyday clinical practice and the patients and families for whom you care. What are the most important clinical issues that you would like to see addressed through nursing research? There are workforce factors (examples: staffing, scheduling, environment) that affect your clinical care. What are most important workforce issues that you would like to see addressed through nursing research?" 63 items submitted. Step 2: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to indicate how important each item was to their own nursing practice. Step 3: Delphi round 3: participants were asked to rank each item in order of importance from 1 to 10

Which stakeholders took part?

Emergency nurses in the PECARN network. 131 participants in all 2 rounds.

How were stakeholders recruited?

The initial survey was forwarded to 1,600 nurses who work in PECARN-designated emergency departments.

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.