Neuroscience Nursing: Evidence-Based Research For Nursing Neurological Assessments

The Neuroscience Nursing Practice Center at University Hospitals Neurological Institute is dedicated to the development and application of best practices in neuroscience nursing.

The Neuroscience Nursing Practice Center brings together leading experts from a variety of disciplines. They collaborate using the latest clinical advances and technologies. Many are involved in nationally funded research that may lead to future innovations in medical care. The goal of the center is to use evidence-based research to make improvements in nursing practice from diagnosis to treatment and follow-up.

Core Principles Focused on Improved Outcomes

The Neuroscience Nursing Practice Center is based on three core principles:

  • Evidence-based nursing: Bridging the gap between nursing research and clinical practice.
  • Patient-centered care: Providing tools and support to enhance patient self-care and monitoring.
  • Relationship-based nursing: Maintaining a standard of excellence that focuses on helping patients and their families achieve greater health and optimum quality of life.

Neuroscience Nursing Center Innovations

The following list highlights some examples of our center’s innovative programs:

  • Neuroscience Education Ambassador Program: Offered to UH nurses to provide education on conducting a neuro-assessment, completing the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) as an added assessment tool, and caring for stroke patients. This program was developed to offer a standardized neurological nursing assessment to enhance non-neuroscience nursing.
  • Preoperative Bundle for Neurosurgery: Our nurses worked in collaboration with physicians and staffs in neurosurgery and infection control to develop a presurgical regimen for both inpatient and outpatient neurosurgery patients. This process includes screening patients for infections by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-sensitive staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). Our nurses also proactively administer antibiotics and bathe patients with an alcohol-based scrub. These steps have been proven to decrease the rate of infection after surgery.
  • External Ventricular Drain: Nurses in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit developed a guideline to standardize care of external ventricular drains (EVD). These drains are used in neurosurgery to relieve intracranial pressure and hydrocephalus. The guideline includes giving antibiotics prior to drain placement, management of the drain and cerebrospinal fluid sampling. Data is being collected to evaluate the effect this guideline has on external ventricular drain management.

Patient-Centered Care

Our specialists uphold a strong culture of patient-centered care, which extends across every discipline at UH. Focusing on the patient is a highly effective, necessary component of rehabilitation, pharmacy, social work, nutrition and medical services.

Patient-centered care takes into consideration each patient’s unique circumstances, including:

  • Lifestyle
  • Family situation
  • Cultural traditions
  • Religious beliefs
  • Other factors

In part, patient-centered care puts responsibility for important aspects of self-care and monitoring in the patient’s hands, along with the tools and support they need to carry out that responsibility. This strategy can reduce unneeded and unwanted services and improve outcomes.

Continuing Education

The Neuroscience Nursing Practice Center offers an annual Neuroscience Nursing Symposium and Karen Scherr Lectureship. This free conference is dedicated to presenting up-to-the-minute treatment and care options for stroke patients.