The Role of the Nurse Research Facilitator in Building Research Capacity in the Clinical Setting

Publication Title

Journal of Nursing Administration

Publication Date


Document Type





e-health, pedagogy, robotics, simulation, telenursing


Nursing Administration


With little guidance in the literature regarding best practices, clinical institutions have used different organizational models to meet the challenges of building research capacity. This article provides recommendations regarding the most productive models based on review of historical clinical research facilitation models and the results of a survey regarding extant models conducted among research facilitators who were members of the Midwest Nursing Research Society.

The focus on evidence-based and quality-driven practices, the desire for acquisition of ANCC Magnet® status, and the need to provide affordable, competitive healthcare have created for many clinical institutions a need to not only incorporate published research findings into clinical practices but also actually conduct nursing research. With few exceptions, the conduct of nursing research has not been a typical part of the clinical institution’s culture. For most clinical institutions, the capacity for research is limited. It is rare to have personnel with the skills and educational background necessary to facilitate research. As a result, many institutions have had to create ways to meet these objectives. A common “fix” has been to identify an individual responsible for building a culture and capacity for research within the institution. The approach of most institutions has been to identify a nurse research facilitator (NRF), which may or may not be an employee of the institution.