Prospective Nursing Research Investigators

Information for Prospective Nursing Research Investigators

Clinical Inquiry is the systematic process that health care providers use to answer questions, solve problems, and investigate clinically relevant issues to improve patient and family care. As a Magnet-designated institution, UT Medical Center has built a culture of inquiry through a comprehensive network of structures and processes to advance nursing practice, including:

  • Evidence-based practice
  • Quality improvement
  • Nursing research

Together, these activities promote adoption of innovative practices that result in better outcomes for patients and families, team members and the organization.

UT Medical Center encourages all their clinical nurses and nurses in the community to conduct relevant clinical studies. Applications for studies involving nursing practice must be approved by the Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Council (NREBPC). Please email the Nursing Research Council Chair if you are interested in conducting a nursing study at UT Medical Center.

Download an application

Beginning the Process

Prospective investigators begin the process by presenting their study ideas to the NREBPC during a Think Tank session. The Think Tank is a bi-monthly forum of the NREBPC, bringing clinical nurses and prospective investigators together to exchange ideas for nursing research and discuss how they might collaborate to bring those ideas to life.

Think Tank presentations are informal, lasting approximately 10 minutes, which includes a brief discussion with the council to guide study development.

These forums occur every other month during regularly scheduled NREBPC meetings which are held on the second Wednesday of the month from 7:30 am-9:15 am.

Think Tank meetings are scheduled in:

  • January
  • March
  • May
  • September
  • November

Please email the Nursing Research Council Chair if you are interested in participating in a Think Tank forum.

Finalizing Study Proposals

After the Think Tank forum, prospective investigators address the suggestions provided by the Council and work closely with their co-investigators and Nurse Manager or Director of the clinical setting, and if a student, with their faculty advisor to finalize the study proposal. Investigators from outside the medical center must identify a UTMC co-investigator on the NIEBPC application for nursing research.

All listed investigators must be certified in the Collaborative IRB Training Initiative (CITI), an online training program designed to educate faculty and students about issues involving human subject research.

If the prospective investigator is a student in an academic program, the faculty advisor MUST approve the proposal prior to submission. An email to The UT Medical Center Nurse Research Coordinator acknowledging their review and approval of the study will suffice if a written signature is infeasible.

The application to be reviewed by the NIEBPC must be sent to the Nurse Research Coordinator at least two (2) weeks before the upcoming Council meeting.

Comments and suggestions for improvement will be communicated to the investigator as appropriate. The final application must be sent to the Nurse Research Coordinator by NOON, the following Wednesday to ensure that the council has at least one week to review the proposal. The application must contain the signatures of the investigator, co-Investigators, and Nurse Manager or Director.

If the investigator plans to present slides during the presentation, these too must accompany the proposal a week before the meeting.

Gaining Study Approval

The NIEBPC bases its decision for approval on the study’s:

  • Clinical significance
  • Relevance to The UT Medical Center
  • Sound scientific methods
  • Feasibility

The Council’s goal is to advance nursing practice at the medical center and disseminate innovative approaches and new knowledge to the nursing professional community. Accordingly, it is expected that study applications demonstrate high standards.

Nursing studies requiring review by the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine Institutional Review Board must include a NRIBPC approval letter with IRB application submission. This letter is sent to investigators by the NIEBPC Chair within one week of approval.

Finally, after the study is completed, investigators are invited to present their findings to the NIEBPC. Presentations are generally 8-10 minutes with a brief question and answer session.