Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

William F. Connell School of Nursing

Haley Nurse Scientists bridge nursing practice and scholarship

Photograph: Lee Pellegrini

Ye, an expert on sleep disorders and obstructive sleep apnea in women, expects to collaborate with Brigham nurses on a study examining the effect of hospitalized patients' sleep quality on their health outcomes.

"Sleep is a fundamental human need for survival, health, and well being," says Ye. "Sleep disruption, which is often unrecognized and untreated during hospitalization, can affect recovery from illness and lead to a chronic lack of restorative sleep. When a patient is hospitalized, it's so easy to sacrifice sleep quality because it's the disease that you're most concerned about," says Ye. "As nurses, even our clinical practice may interrupt sleep—for example, turning on and off the light. Research into the connection between sleep quality and outcomes could make us rethink our clinical practice."

Nurse catalysts

The impact of the Haley Nurse Scientist program extends beyond the group of nurses who have participated in the research process, says Laura Mylott, executive director of Brigham and Women's Center for Nursing Excellence. "Integrating a nurse researcher into the health care team creates an opportunity for clinical conversations about scholarly inquiry. It also makes visible to all clinicians the relevance and value of nursing research in patient care."

The bath study outcome, as it turns out, showed that babies maintained their temperatures better after tub baths. The research group presented the findings that appeared in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing to colleagues from the Brigham and the Connell School last fall.

And will the bath study eventually change the way late preterm babies are bathed at Brigham and Women's Hospital?

"We're a large institution and change takes time," says Cynthia Loring, a clinical nurse educator and co-author of the bath study article. "Any time you change practice, you have to make sure everyone's aware of the reasons, that their questions are answered, that they have the right resources to make the change, and that there are systems in place to assure sustainability. Based on our research, I believe we will certainly move to tub baths for the majority of late preterm babies." ✹

1   2   3

Above: Laura Mylott, executive director of the Brigham and Women’s Center for Nursing Excellence, and Haley Nurse Scientist Lichuan Ye.
Photograph: Lee Pellegrini