The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently announced the recipients of its annual research grants, and invited clinicians and researchers to submit projects for the next application cycle which has available funding of $160,000. For the 2016 year, AACN awarded three Impact Research Grants of up to $50,000 each and the AACN-Sigma Theta Tau Critical Care Grant of up to $10,000 in funding.

Annual AACN Impact Research Grants go toward supporting clinical inquiry that drives change in high acuity and critical care nursing practice. The grants are designed to ensure a source of clinically relevant research for creating evidence-based resources that influence high acuity and critical care nursing practice. Over the past five years, AACN has invested over $750,000 in nurse-driven research projects designed to improve critical care nursing practice and outcomes for patients and their families. Evidence from AACN-funded projects continues to influence care provided by nurses every day. 

The 2016 Funded Projects and Grant Recipients are:

Postoperative Respiratory Failure – Postoperative respiratory failure is the most common and severe postoperative pulmonary complication and this case-control analysis seeks to identify the impact of nursing care on potentially modifiable risk factors. Lead researcher Jacqueline Stocking, RN, PhD(c), MSN, MBA, NEA-BC, is a critical care nurse pursuing her doctoral degree at the University of California at Davis School of Nursing.

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Arrhythmia Monitoring and Alarm Fatigue – Arrhythmia alarms alert nurses to changes in a patient’s heart rhythm, but a high number of alarms contributing to alarm fatigue is a known patient safety issue. Lead researcher Michele Pelter, RN, PhD, assistant professor and director of the ECG Monitoring Research Lab at the University of California at San Francisco will lead a research team in analyzing a large dataset of annotated arrhythmia alarms to assess clinical significance associated with serious outcomes. Results will provide guidance to manufacturers and hospital policy creators.

Moral Distress Consultations – The Moral Distress Consult Service at the University of Virginia (UVA) Health System is one of few programs that are multidisciplinary and institution-wide in scope for moral distress interventions. Lead researcher Elizabeth Epstein, RN, PhD, and Mary Faith Marshall, PhD, BSN, FCCM, will lead a team from the UVA School of Nursing and Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities to formally evaluate the consult service and its effects on moral distress and other elements of a healthy work environment.

AACN will award up to three $50,000 Impact Research Grants in 2017 and continue to offer their annual AACN-Sigma Theta Tau Critical Care Grant of up to $10,000 in funding. Principal investigators are required to be current AACN members with a master’s degree or completed candidacy requirements for a doctoral degree. Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) members are also eligible to apply. 2017 funding applications are now open and all research grant applications must be submitted online by October 13. For more information, visit

Christina Morgan
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