Purpose: Develop a conceptual model and determine the feasibility of identifying and documenting nursing research opportunities derived from the Nursys database.
Background/significance: Professionals in the library and information sciences and the archival sciences have long grappled with author disambiguation, particularly with monographic titles (i.e., books) or artistic works. To resolve conflicts and properly associate authors with similar names as well as authors with pseudonyms, librarians create what is known as an authority file. This file is comprised of all known spelling variations, pseudonyms, and brief biographical data to identify unique authors. Similar identifier systems such as ResearcherID (Web of Science) and the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) are used to acknowledge scholarship and achievement in academia.
The unique nurse identifier (UNI) shares a similar parallel but a different scope. Advocates proclaim this as an ideal mechanism to provide evidence of nursing contributions to clinical care and patient outcomes. The UNI literature also mentions the potential research opportunities at the organizational level such as patient safety and institutional efficiency and effectiveness. This abstract proposes another possibility: one that connects the UNI to the nurse’s research contributions and evidence-based initiatives implemented at their organization. The data within the Nursys database provides a rich source of content which serves as a starting point for future nursing scholarship thereby improving healthcare outcomes and enriching the overall nursing research literature.
Methods: Davenport’s information ecology principles, culture, behavior, politics, and technology, served as the foundation for model development. The medical center’s strategic plan and nursing research agenda provided a systems level approach in which each principle was assessed to determine applicability. Key steps within the model were then identified along with their relationships and sequence.
Results: Upon evaluation, the team determined by consensus that the model depicted appropriate application of the UNI and the medical center’s information ecology. Future efforts will center around testing the model by developing use cases. Also, further mapping and development of APIs to capture publication data will be investigated. Local policies will be created to ensure importing of the final research and implementations to a database at the current employer. The local database should be capable of formatting the data to provide maximum flexibility and portability to other organizational database systems. In addition to understanding the available data, the investigators inquired if the subsequent scholarship could be imported to Nursys or another comparable database at the nurse’s organization.
Conclusion: Though the model was created according to our institution’s nursing research agenda, strategic plan, and information ecosystem, it has potential applicability across a variety of healthcare organizations. The unique nurse identifier is a perfect tool to monitor and manage nursing research opportunities which can change practice locally, nationally, or internationally. Future use cases should focus on the development of comprehensive nursing portfolios based upon research derived from Nursys data. This research will strengthen the utility of the UNI and the profession’s knowledge base thus increasing nursing’s impact on healthcare outcomes.