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Nursing Research and EBP


Nurses are the heart of CHOC Children’s staff and have the greatest opportunity to make a difference in patient care. They are dedicated to enhancing pediatric acute, critical and ambulatory care by striving for new and improved best practices. All CHOC RNs are encouraged to engage in four areas:


CHOC Nursing Research is the creation of new knowledge (evidence) through the use of systematic and rigorous methods (qualitative, quantitative, mixed).

Nursing Research and Innovation Council (NRIC)
The NRIC is a shared governance council responsible for policy and procedure activities of nursing research. Nurses may apply to serve on the council following one full-time year at CHOC.

Nursing Research Fellows Program
The fellow program is an application-based, year-long program dedicated to mentoring a cohort of novice nurse researchers through the processes of research development, implementation, analysis and knowledge dissemination. Funding from The Walden and Jean Young Shaw Foundation provides a nurse stipend, research technology and nursing faculty engagement.

Nurse Researcher
CHOC employs a doctoral-prepared nurse researcher who coordinates the Nursing Research Fellows and Evidence-Based Practice Scholars programs. Our nurse researcher also serves as a mentor to all CHOC nurses, serves as administrative advisor to NRIC, and has oversight of all new knowledge, innovations and improvement processes required for Magnet® recognition. This position is funded in part by a grant from West Coast University.

Research Nurses and Research Coordinators
Research nurses are advanced practice nurses who serve as nursing research principle investigators at CHOC. Research coordinators are nurses who coordinate clinical trials.

Evidence-Based Practice and Decision-Making

“Evidence-based practice is a science-to-service model of engagement of critical thinking to apply research-based evidence (scientific knowledge) and practice-based evidence (art of nursing) within the context of patient values to deliver quality, cost-sensitive care.” —American Nurses Credentialing Center, 2013

Shared Governance
CHOC Nursing has implemented a structure where all committees and councils use evidence-based practices to improve decision-making at the bedside and in the boardroom.

Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Scholars Program
The scholars program is an application-based, six-month program dedicated to mentoring a cohort of nurses through the process of EBP question development, study analysis, recommendation, implementation, outcome analysis and knowledge dissemination. The program has been supported for more than 10 years by a grant from The Walden and Jean Young Shaw Foundation.

Interprofessional Evidence-Based Practice and Decision-Making Seminar
This seminar is an interprofessional education and collaborative EBP class offered monthly to CHOC associates.


At CHOC, our nurses have the opportunity and resources for imagination and creation to improve pediatric nursing care. CHOC Nursing Innovation is defined as the creation of a new or improved pediatric idea, device or method as defined by the individual or team creativity, the innovation itself and the environment in which the innovation is developed, introduced, sustained and valued. Nursing is a partner in CHOC’s Sharon Disney Lund Medical Intelligence and Innovation Institute (MI3), among other initiatives under way at CHOC.


Quality Improvement

CHOC Nursing Quality Improvement is defined as the cyclic evaluation of current work processes of practice (critical knowledge and skill), safety, patients, organizational support (critical tools and environment) and barriers, and practice benchmarks against established indicators, providing a method to continually evaluate and improve current practices. As Nursing Research identifies what is best and EBP questions whether we are doing the best, Quality Improvement (QI) assesses if we are doing the best thing right every time. Hallmarks of success are posted throughout the hospital.

The Nursing Quality and Safety Council is a member of the shared governance structure.

Recent Nursing Research, EBP and QI Projects

Kathleen Adlard, MN, RN, CPON (Hyundai Cancer Institute) presented at the APHON National Conference, September 4-6, 2014 in Portland, OR.  The Role of Stem Cell Transplant and Supportive Care.

Tammy Anderson, MSN, RNC-NIC (NICU) presented a poster at the National Advanced Practice Neonatal Conference, March 11-14, 2015 Chicago, IL. Providing Best Practice to the Neonate: Pierre Robin Sequence Receiving Mandibular Distraction Osteogenesis.

Angie Blackwell, BSN, RN CPON (OPI) presented a poster at the APHON National Conference, September 4-6, 2014 in Portland, OR.  Neutropenia Guidelines: Best Practices for Education on Mask Wearing.

Lisa Castaños, MSN, RN, CCRN (Magnet® Facilitator) and Nancy Kraus, MSN, RN (Service Line Director, Critical Care) presented at the ANCC National Magnet® Conference, October 9, 2014 in Dallas, TX. Why a Magnet® Redesignation Journey Detoured and How We Got Back on Track: Timely Tips for MPDs.

Susan Elliott, PhD, RNC, APRN-BC (Nurse Researcher) gave a podium presentation at the CHOC Children’s Research Week, November 14, 2014 in Orange, CA. Analysis of Global Beliefs and Practices Which Influence Health and Well-being in America.

Marilyn Herrera, MSN, CNPN (CVICU) presented a poster at the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society December 11, 2014 in Miami, FL.  Development of Clinical Practice Guidelines for Post Operative Chylothroax in Pediatric Cardiac Surgical.

Jessica Holtorf, BSN, RNC (NICU Educator) and Lacy Pester, BSN, RNC-NIC (NICU Manager) presented at the National Association of Neonatal Nurses Annual Educational Conference in Phoenix, Arizona on September 12, 2014. Leaving a positive foot-print at work, How to create a positive culture in the work place.

Aimee Shumard [Irons], MSN, RN, PNP (CVICU) gave a podium presentation at the NeoHeart Conference, March 11, 2015, Huntington Beach, CA. Bedside essentials to Cardiac Assessment.

Katie Jacoby, MSN, RN, PNP (CVICU) gave a podium presentation at the NeoHeart Conference, March 11, 2015, Huntington Beach, CA. Interactive Case Studies.

Vanessa Kalis, MSN, RN, PNP (CVICU) gave a podium presentation at the NeoHeart Conference, March 11, 2015, Huntington Beach, CA. Neonatal Dysrhythmias.

Elyse McClean, MSN, RN-BC, CPN, CNS (Med/Surg) presented at the Connect2 Care Philips Summit, October 7, 2014 in Phoenix, AZ.  Pediatric Early Warning Scores (PEWS) and Response to the Deteriorating Patient.

Mindy Morris, DNP, NNP-BC, CNS (NICU, SBU), Cleary, John, & Soliman, Antoine (2015). Small Baby Unit Improves Quality and Outcomes in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants. Pediatrics 36(4),  p. 1-11.  Retrieved September 25, 2015.

Robyn Robinson, MSN, CPNP (Gastroenterology) gave a podium presentation at the Association of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Nurses Annual Meeting, October 25, 2014, Atlanta, GA. Oomphalomesenteric Band Remnant as a Cause of Feeding Aversion in a Two Year-Old.

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UC Irvine

CHOC Children's is affiliated with the UC Irvine School of Medicine