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By Lisa Alikhan

You may already know that the Competency and Credentialing Institute (CCI) is the leader in competency assessment for perioperative nurses, administering three credentials and serving more than 43,000 certificants. However, what you may not know is that in 2018 CCI entered the philanthropic sector and established an independent 501(c)3 organization, whose mission is to fund research that contributes to the advancement of perioperative nursing science and the enhancement of patient care.

In her 2017 manuscript, “The Future of Nursing Research in the West: The Best is Yet to Come,” Linda Sarner, PhD, RN, FAAN, states that “Ultimately, the vision of the future must include how research will impact nursing care, including the implementation of evidence into practice and the use of data to inform practice and health care policy. How best to share research findings, how research is funded, and what type of preparation will be needed for the next generation of scholars are all important questions for the future.” (p.1)

The CCI Research Foundation (CCIRF), now in its inaugural operating year, agrees with Sarner and is doing its part to meet a long-standing need in the scientific perioperative nursing community. The new foundation ensures that, for the first time, a sustained source of funding to develop and cultivate perioperative nurse researchers is available.

In 2019, the CCI Research Foundation will begin awarding grants to both experienced and emerging researchers and doctoral students (including both PhD and DNP). Candidates may also seek funding for dissertation research and scholarly projects. This year, CCI’s new foundation seeks to give away more than $130,000 in grants across three funding tiers. The tiers are based on the applicant’s experience level, and grants will be awarded in amounts of $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000. Projects must be completed in one year. It is not a requirement for project funding that the principal investigator is a nurse; however, an RN who holds a minimum master’s degree in nursing, (or country equivalent), must be a co-investigator on the research team.

To raise awareness of its mission and funding initiatives, the foundation kicked off this year’s grant application cycle on the road at a series of national nurse research conferences between February and May. “Thus far, the feedback within perioperative circles, and from the specialty nursing and research communities, about CCI’s decision to place a focus on nursing research has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Jim Stobinski, PhD, RN, CNOR, CSSM (e), CEO. “CCI has long been associated with the certification of OR nurses, and as we believe that certified nurses contribute to improved patient care; we are now putting our money where our mouth is and will prioritize projects whose findings may validate these beliefs with empirical evidence.”

Julia A. Thompson, PhD, RN, CNOR, President, CCI Research Foundation Board of Trustees said, “Funding can have a significant impact on perioperative nursing research. Information from nursing research can directly impact the care provided to perioperative patients. We have the opportunity to support research that provides evidence linking certification to individual outcomes, such as nurses’ continued professional engagement and commitment to lifelong learning, as well as patient outcomes. The CCI Research Foundation’s investment in well-designed research supports the professional perioperative community, and facilitates the advancement of research in the care of perioperative patients. We recognize the importance of the nurse scientist’s role in providing perioperative patients with high-quality care through knowledge gained by research.”

Although CCI’s foundation will certainly give precedence to projects whose hypothesis seeks to demonstrate the link between certified nurses in the OR and improved clinical patient outcomes, other funding priorities for the CCI Research Foundation include projects related to nursing education, nursing practice and performance, and the impact of organizational climate and leadership and management on patient care.

To learn about the CCI Research Foundation, visit Inquiries should be directed to or to Lisa Alikhan, Program Manager for the CCI Research Foundation.


The Future of Nursing Research in the West: The Best is Yet to Come. (2017) Retrieved from

Lisa Alikhan is the Program Manager for the CCI Research Foundation. She can be reached at or 303-368-6720.



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