Aim: To identify nurses' priorities for topics and issues to be addressed by a developing nursing research program at a county hospital.
Background: Delphi surveys have been effective at other hospitals to identify research priorities of nurses.
Methods: A Delphi survey was performed in two rounds. Questionnaires were distributed to all 415 nurses who worked at the hospital.
Results: A total of 274 nurses returned the Round I questionnaire (response rate, 66%), and 249 returned the Round II questionnaire (response rate, 60%).
Conclusions: The Delphi survey was successfully used to identify nurses' research priorities at a county hospital. A total of 39 topics were identified from content analysis of research areas described by nurses. Factor analysis revealed three factors: work environment, newborn issues and effects of leadership.
Implications for nursing management: The Delphi survey is a useful way to begin a program of research. Nurses who have a successful experience with research are more likely to become further involved in research, which will allow them to more effectively participate in decision making and improving the work environment. In addition, items were identified that needed to be addressed by nursing managers.