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TODAY news for Thursday, November 26, 2007

School of Nursing news

Nursing research is a two-way street at Loma Linda University

Nursing researchers from Loma Linda University Medical Center and the LLU School of Nursing span the street to demonstrate the new spirit of cooperation and collaboration among both academic and clinical nursing researchers.
Nursing researchers from Loma Linda University Medical Center and the LLU School of Nursing span the street to demonstrate the new spirit of cooperation and collaboration among both academic and clinical nursing researchers. The brown bag group, as the researchers call their alliance, meets every two months in West Hall.
If you ask Patti Radovich, RN, MSN, nursing research is a two-way street at Loma Linda University. Campus Street may separate nursing researchers at the School of Nursing from their comrades in the Medical Center, but thanks to a series of exciting new programs designed to foster sharing of ideas and resources, it’s more of a conduit than an obstacle.

“The big story is the increased collaboration between the academic center at West Hall and the clinical aspects of nursing at the Medical Center,” Ms. Radovich asserts.

Prior to Ms. Radovich’s appointment as manager for nursing research at LLUMC, cooperation between the two organizations was hit-and-miss, but having one person to spearhead the task of helping both entities share research methods and findings has sparked enthusiasm for the future of nursing investigations within the Medical Center and at the University.

The brown bag group is one of the most tangible signs of cooperation between nursing researchers from both sides of the street. The group meets every other month—usually on the last Friday of the month—to enjoy food and camaraderie in an informal setting that fosters dialogue. Attendance ranges between 25 and 50 people and includes active researchers as well as faculty members, clinical nurses, and, usually, five to 10 students.

“The best part about it,” Ms. Radovich maintains, “is that it increases participants’ awareness of what their peers are doing and allows them to network with potential colleagues on projects. Don’t let the name fool you; nobody brings a brown bag. Instead, we have pizza or some other delicious food provided by Marilyn Herrmann, or Liz Dickinson.” Dr. Herrmann is dean of the LLU School of Nursing and Ms. Dickinson is senior vice president for patient care services at the Medical Center.

The brown bag group meets in West Hall in a room provided by the School of Nursing.

“One of the benefits to the students is the opportunity to participate in discussions with academic and clinical nurses who are actively involved in research. Not only is there the role modeling aspect, but we hope that some of the students will get excited about research and consider pursuing it as a career option once they graduate,” she adds.

Ms. Radovich points out that she and Patty Pothier, PhD, RN, chair of the LLU School of Nursing research committee, collaborate on numerous projects and coordinate the appointment of members to sit on each others’ nursing research councils. They also work together on the annual nursing research conference held during nurse appreciation week in May. The 2007 installment of the conference saw more than 120 people attend—a new record for highest attendance yet.

She cites three major studies currently in progress as proof of the burgeoning health of nursing research at Loma Linda:

1. Dealing with diabetic education in the Hispanic population is a joint project of the LLU Schools of Nursing, Allied Health Professions, and Pharmacy as well as the diabetes treatment center, Medical Center, and SAC–Norton Clinic;

2. Palliative care in the pediatric population is a simple collaboration between the Medical Center and School of Nursing; and

3. The use of the Iowa model in the development of nursing research is a ground-breaking international research partnership between Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital in Hangzhou, China, and the Loma Linda University Medical Center with assistance from the School of Nursing International Research Council.

Ms. Radovich says that the climate couldn’t be better for nursing research at Loma Linda. “With recent trends in evidence-based practice there is a new interest in having the bedside clinical staff both participate in, and initiate, research ideas and projects.”

Prior to coming on board as manager for nursing research in November 2006, Ms. Radovich worked as a clinical nurse specialist in unit 8100—the surgical trauma neurosurgery unit at the Medical Center—for 20 years. Before that, she held a similar position as a member of the liver disease/liver transplant team at the Transplant Institute of Loma Linda University Medical Center for 10 years. She holds a master’s degree in nursing from California State University at Long Beach and a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Arizona State University in Tempe.

For more information on nursing research at Loma Linda, contact Ms. Radovich at pradovich@llu.edu.

By Jim Ponder

TODAY news for Thursday, November 26, 2007