Newswise — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) announces the recipients of its annual research grants, with total available funding of $160,000.

This year, the association awards three AACN Impact Research Grants up to $50,000 each and the AACN-Sigma Theta Tau Critical Care Grant with up to $10,000 in funding.

AACN Impact Research Grants support clinical inquiry that drives change in high acuity and critical care nursing practice. The grants are designed to ensure a vital source of clinically relevant research for creating the evidence-based resources that influence high acuity and critical care nursing practice.

Five priority areas guide AACN’s research activities and initiatives:• Effective and appropriate use of technology to achieve optimal patient assessment, management and/or outcomes• Creation of healing, humane environments• Processes and systems that foster the optimal contribution of critical care nurses• Effective approaches to symptom management• Prevention and management of complications

“Nurse-driven research produces evidence that impacts the care we deliver on a daily basis,” said AACN Chief Clinical Officer Connie Barden, RN, MSN, CCRN-E, CCNS. “AACN’s investment in well-designed, high-caliber research supports our professional community as a whole, and serves our mission to improve high acuity and critical care nursing practice and outcomes for patients and their families.”

This year’s funded projects and grant recipients:

Journal Writing in the PICU to Reduce Parental Stress (Impact Research Grant)Rhonda Board, RN, PhD, CCRN, associate professor at Northeastern University, Boston, will study the feasibility of journal writing as an intervention for parents of children hospitalized in the pediatric intensive care unit (ICU). Expressive writing through journaling may help reduce stress in parents during and after their child’s hospitalization. The information gained from the study will also help identify and refine cost-effective, evidence-based interventions for this population of parents who undergo a very stressful experience.

Unavoidable Hospital-Acquired Pressure Ulcers (Impact Research Grant)Joyce Pittman, RN, PhD, ANP-BC, FNP-BC, CWOCN, nurse practitioner and lead for the wound-care team at Indiana University Health, Indianapolis, will address an important complication that occurs in the critical care setting: hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. The study expands a pilot project examining avoidable and unavoidable pressure ulcers in critical care and their associated risk factors using a newly developed instrument, the Pressure Ulcer Prevention Inventory. The research team will also examine potential risk factors associated with development of pressure ulcers.

Safety of Chlorhexidine Baths in Newborn and Pediatric Patients (Impact Research Grant)The neonatal ICU at Boston Children’s Hospital, led by Cheryl Toole, RN, MS, CCRN, NEA-BC, director, will study the use of biweekly baths using a topical antiseptic (chlorhexidine gluconate or CHG) in the newborn and the pediatric cardiac ICUs as a way to reduce healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The hospital currently uses CHG for routine bathing in older patients, and this study will assess its safety and efficacy among newborn patients less than 2 months old.

Transitioning the Hospitalized Preterm Infant (AACN-Sigma Theta Tau Critical Care Grant)Sherri McMullen, PhD, CNS, NNP-BC, assistant professor, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York, receives a $10,000 grant to determine how transitioning stable preterm infants in the neonatal ICU to the supine sleep position at 34 weeks gestation impacts neurodevelopment. Current protocols for when to transition these infants to sleep on their back are based only on expert opinion, and this study will provide data to help determine safe practice protocols and prevent potential complications.

Principal investigators must be current AACN members with either an earned master’s degree or completed candidacy requirements for a doctoral degree. Sigma Theta Tau International members are also eligible to apply for the AACN-STTI grant.

All research grant applications must be submitted online by Oct. 31. Once funded, research projects must be completed within two years.

For more information, including award criteria and supporting documents, visit, or email [email protected].

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 235 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.;;