Nursing News

AACN Awards More than $100K in Research Grants

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March 15, 2012 - The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently awarded two $50,000 grants and several smaller grants to researchers who want to make a difference in the field of critical-care nursing.

The first $50,000 AACN Impact Research Grant was awarded to Brigit Carter, RN, PhD, MSN, CCRN, assistant clinical professor at Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, N.C., to study feeding intolerance in preterm infants.

Her current research focuses on nursing care of premature infants with serious illnesses. For this study, Carter and her research team will monitor intra-abdominal pressure in very low birth weight preterm infants with the aim of identifying early symptoms of feeding intolerance. The findings could help healthcare providers better adjust feeding volumes, resulting in more rapid postnatal growth, thereby reducing the length of hospital stay and hospital costs.

Carter teaches pediatrics in the accelerated BSN program and practices in the Duke University Medical Center Intensive Care Nursery, where she has 12 years of clinical experience. Before becoming a nurse, Carter served nine years on active duty in the U.S. Navy and three years as a police officer in Atlanta.

AACN also awarded a $50,000 AACN Impact Research Grant to Jean Anne Connor, RN, DNSc, CPNP, director of nursing research in the cardiovascular program at Children’s Hospital Boston.

Connor and her research team will conduct a 12-month pilot study to explore how children’s hospitals across the United States measure the quality of care provided by pediatric cardiovascular nurses. The resulting baseline data will help identify key performance indicators specific to pediatric nursing and articulate their value in the delivery of nursing care, a crucial element in ongoing efforts to improve quality and reduce costs.

AACN Impact Research Grants support clinical inquiry that drives change in high acuity and critical care nursing practice. Priority projects address gaps in clinical research at the organization or system level and translation of these findings to bedside clinicians. Projects include use of technology to assess patients and manage outcomes; ways to create a healing and humane environment; and processes and systems to optimize high acuity and critical care nursing. The number of annual Impact Research Grants will increase to three in 2013. The grants are available to established researchers and beginning researchers with mentors, and applicants may request up to $50,000 in total costs for a maximum of three years.

Other 2012 grants from AACN support a variety of projects ranging from research on clinical outcomes in preterm, pediatric and adult patient populations to identifying quality of life issues among parental caregivers. Recipients are as follows:

  • Michelle Degrazia, PhD, RN, NNP-BC, Children’s Hospital Boston (AACN-Edwards Lifesciences Nurse-driven Clinical Practice Outcomes Grant)
  • Rachel Joseph, RN, MSN, CCRN, Christiana Care Health Systems, Newark, Del. (AACN-Sigma Theta Tau Critical Care Grant)
  • Alison Montpetit, PhD, RN, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing, Richmond, Va. (AACN-Philips Medical Systems Clinical Outcomes Grant)
  • Camilla Pearson, RN, Medstar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, D.C. (AACN-Philips Medical Systems Clinical Outcomes Grant)
  • Christina Stewart-Amidei, MSN, RN, CNRN, CCRN, FAAN, University of Central Florida College of Nursing, Orlando, Fla. (AACN-Philips Medical Systems Clinical Outcomes Grant)

AACN's grant program is part of its ongoing effort to support clinical research for high acuity and critical care nursing. Principal investigators must be current AACN members. All AACN research grant applications must be submitted online by Nov. 1, 2012. For more information, including award criteria and supporting documents, visit