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Keywords:

  • community nursing centers;
  • integration of research and practice;
  • vulnerable populations

Purpose: To identify issues and describe strategies used in developing a successful program of clinical research focused on the vulnerale populations served by one urban academic nursing center. Academic community nursing centers provide ideal settings to implement programs of research. Understanding the challenges when integrating research into these practices and the strategies used is important.

Setting and Scope: The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Silver Spring Community Nursing Center has provided primary health care services to a low-income urban population since 1987. A team of advanced practice nurse clinicians, community health nurses, and other health care professionals and community residents implemented a broad range of innovative, community-focused, clinical inteventions that are routinely studied throughan integrated program of nursing research. Their strategies for research implementation are analyzed.

Conclusions and Implications: Factors affecting the integration of research into the center include (a) community mistrust, (b) the need for participatory recruitment strategies, and (c) the need for multiple data collection methods. Meeting these challenges requires that research agendas and methods are consonant with community goals. The inclusion of clinicians, other providers, and community residents as active members of research teams is critical to success. Reframing research and practice roles in terms of team effort that incorporates the community can strengthen research and practice-and benefit professionals and the populations they serve.