Evidence-based nursing practice is advanced through creativity, communication, and colllaboration-and all were in abundant supply at the region's first major nursing research conference, "Building Collaborative and Community-Focused Evidence-Based Approaches," held October 19 at the Schwartz Center.

Organized by the South Florida Research Consortium, a division of the Nursing Consortium of South Florida, and sponsored by a variety of clinical and academic organizations, the symposium featured panel discussions and presentations on a wide array of clinical research topics.

Jane Fall-Dickson, Ph.D., R.N., an acclaimed nurse-scientist at the National Institutes of Health, presented a keynote speech on addressing the challenges of translational research. Fall-Dickson was an NIH clinical research fellow for several years before assuming her current position as tenure track investigator with the Intramural Research Program in the National Institute of Nursing Research.

The conference "represented the activities of individuals and organizations throughout southern Florida," says senior associate dean for research Denise Korniewicz, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., who chairs the research consortium and organized the event with representatives from educational and clinical entities in the region.

"We included not only leading-edge work from experienced researchers, but studies from students and novice nurses who are just learning how to develop and disseminate best practices," says faculty member Ann-Lynn Denker, Ph.D. '89, A.R.N.P., who served as chair of the selection subcommittee."The idea was to make the event an educational one for all of the participants." Presentations focused on topics ranging from pain assessment to hand hygiene, antibiotic use to elder care, as well as best-practice themes such as evidence- based practice guidelines and resources.

Drawing more than 250 attendees, the consortium "provided an excellent forum for the region's nursing community to share its accomplishments," Denker says. Says Korniewicz,"The event demonstrated that we as a region are working collaboratively on a world-class level and thinking outside the box."