PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To identify oncology nurses priorities for topics and issues to be addressed by developing a clinical nursing research program at a large comprehensive cancer center. DESIGN: Delphi survey, completed in two rounds. SETTING: A large comprehensive cancer center in the southern United States. SAMPLE: All 1,500 RNs employed at the cancer center. Round I asked nurses to identify topics they believed needed to be studied, and 642 nurses responded. In round II, 567 nurses ranked these priorities. METHODS: Surveys were distributed to all nurses who work in a variety of settings at the cancer center. Open-ended responses from round I were content analyzed, round II rankings of importance were described, and factor analysis was performed. MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES: 120 topics were identified from a content analysis of research areas described by nurses in the cancer center. FINDINGS: 120 research priorities were identified. Factor analysis revealed three factors: clinical care, nurses and skills, and administrative aspects. CONCLUSIONS: The top five research priorities identified at the cancer center were, in rank order, acute and chronic pain, infection rates and control, job satisfaction, nurse-patient ratios and staffing, and nurse retention. This study's survey included items similar to those on the recently conducted Oncology Nursing Society research priority survey. Pain and issues with infection were among the top five priorities in both surveys. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: Conducting a survey to identify nurses perceptions of research was useful in involving nurses in the conduct of research, and the results were useful guides to beginning a coordinated program of nursing research.
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