Leading Speaker for Nursing Conferences 2019- Laura Sweatt

Title: Developing Bedside Nurses to Lead Research: A Nurse Scholar Program

Laura Sweatt

Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, USA


As Magnet Program Director, Laura leads the pursuit of nursing excellence, including shared governance, professional growth, and nursing research.   She earned both her BSN (1994) and MSN (2013) from Lamar University and is a Fundamentals of Magnet Certificate Holder and Board Certified in Nursing Professional Development.
Laura has over 12 years’ experience in facilitating organizations journey to Magnet. Laura has received the D Magazine Excellence in Nursing Award, among other distinctions in the field.  Laura helps nurses engage in the profession and develop leadership skills to meet the ever changing demands of healthcare.


In pursuit of nursing excellence and Magnet recognition, a clear deficit in the bedside nurse's knowledge and expertise in research was identified. An academic service partnership with a school of nursing faculty was initiated to explore potential strategies to expand nursing research capacity utilizing a collaborative partnership to empower staff nurses to develop and complete nursing research studies. A six month Nurse Scholars Program was created with the goal is to increase the bedside nurse expertise in all stages of nursing research that will positively affect patient outcomes and staff engagement. 
The Nurse Scholar Program includes didactic content and hands on experience in defining a research problem, developing a protocol, and implementation of study.  Participant feedback was utilized to restructure the format from an individual project to a collaborative research team approach. This design allows for exposure to the research process with less feelings of being overwhelmed and intimidated.