Joan Cahill

Joan Cahill

Joan Cahill


Nursing Research Program Coordinator
Department of Clinical Education & Professional Development
Duke University Health System


Nurse Research Mentor Award
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Congratulations to the Educators selected


Joan is best known for teaching. With more than 40 years of experience, she is a valued member of the Duke Health Institutional Review Board and serves as a nursing expert for studies, advocates for patient protections, and study designs. Joan’s dedication to creating and adhering to best new practices has played an integral part in the efficiency and success of proper data collection and reporting. Joan is a fearless leader and phenomenal mentor who embodies Duke’s values through and through.


She serves our research program as our Institutional Review Board regulatory and study coordinator, as she is grounded in the ethical principles upholding research: beneficence, justice and respect for persons. She assures that our nursing research adheres to proper data collection and reporting. She teaches these principles to all nurses on their clinical inquiry journey and within our clinical inquiry workshops. She trains new nurse representatives to the Institutional Review Board as they prepare for research reviews, and serves as a resource throughout their tenure. In addition, she trains new nurse Principal Investigators and their study teams to perform all of the essential study start-up meetings, outline data collection procedures, and appropriately secure data for confidentiality standards.


As a mentor for research and evidence-based practice translation, this nurse is an expert resource to help nurses take ideas and implement them into studies or EBP translation projects. This nurse encourages others to explore their clinical questions by serving as a coach for the Mitigating the Madness series. She actively listens to the nurse, giving pointers, helping identify key search words, guiding through PICO question development and project implementation. This nurse serves as an expert resource for dissemination of project and study findings. She reviews and helps guide nurses to submit abstracts and helps with presentations, posters, and publications.


The partnership and mentoring by the nominee is allowing Duke Nursing to improve patient outcomes through evidence-based changes. Our team met with the nominee to discuss a clinical issue that had never been reported in the literature. She encouraged us to move forward with implementing a research study, and subsequently took on the role of mentoring us. She became our study coordinator and dedicated countless hours to helping the team successfully navigate the study setup and ongoing responsibilities of data collection and reporting. We are reviewing the effectiveness of a protocol that would enable a diagnostic scan for a complication that arises following heart transplantation. There is great interest in making this scan widely available as a diagnostic tool for these patients.


This nominee has worked within our health system for several years and built many relationships that serve the basis for interprofessional collaborations. Recently, this nominee sought interprofessional approval for a clinical nursing research project through reaching out to our medical teams for support of an initiative to explore facilitators and barriers for practice change involving the uptake of ipsilateral intravenous access insertion in patients with history of lymph node biopsies or procedures. The practice of avoiding the affected extremity has long been ingrained in practice and taught to patients, but recent new evidence suggests that this may be a safe alternative to pedal or neck intravenous access. The nominee sought additional evidence to bring forward to our interprofessional colleagues to challenge our current practice and provide their support for a nursing research study.


This nurses came to the facility to provide in person guidance for conducting consent. She met with patients and families explaining the research study in the cath lab, she was extremely knowledgeable and compassionate. She thoroughly explained the study and listened to the patient and families concerns and questions. By connecting, through being with and informing the patient and family she was able to listen to their concerns, answer questions, and role model professional behaviors for consenting patient and family members.


This nominee exemplifies nursing research mentorship, as she fosters clinical inquiry to advance nursing practice, and improves patient care.


Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021