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Guest Editor Series: CONNECTING Patients, Clinicians, and Outstanding Cardiac Care Through Nursing and Allied Professional Research

Monday, April 17, 2023

In the latest entry into the CTSNet Guest Editor Series, “CONNECTING Patients, Clinicians, and Outstanding Cardiac Care Through Nursing and Allied Professional Research,” Jill Ley and Tara Bartley put together a curated collection of presentations on timely topics in cardiothoracic nursing from CONNECT members around the world. 

This CTSNet Guest Editor Series features contributor videos from six cardiothoracic nurses and allied professionals from around the world, which can be found at the bottom of this page. The videos were released from April 17–21, 2023 and concluded with a webinar held on April 24, 2023.

Dear CTSNet Members,

Transformational changes in nursing research have occurred since Florence Nightingale’s groundbreaking epidemiological studies and statistical methods first tied environmental factors to illness in soldiers of the Crimean war (1). Fast forward 175 years, and our research priorities now embrace scientific inquiry in validating evidence-based practices, applying these findings to the patient experience, and creating improvements to our systems of healthcare delivery worldwide. A collective focus on capabilities of the multidisciplinary team is extended to the cardiovascular research community, which offers diverse opportunities to improve cardiac surgical care through scientific study (2). This Guest Editor Series is presented with a dual focus: first, to provide the CTSNet community with a snapshot of outstanding clinical research being led by international nurse and allied professional researchers, and second, to encourage worldwide cardiovascular research collaboration through CONNECT, The Cardiac Surgical International Nursing and Allied Professional Research Network (3).  

With this Guest Editor Series, we showcase several timely topics of importance to the cardiac surgical community, and some of the internationally recognized nurse scientists who are studying these issues. This is not meant to be all inclusive of the incredible work being done by nursing and allied professional researchers around the globe. Instead, we highlight several exciting areas of study while featuring the CONNECT community of nurse scientists. An important theme is woven throughout these presentations—listening to the voices of our patients to create healthcare that works for them. Our goal is to inspire others with this work and encourage a collaborative allied professional research community among CTSNet members and beyond, while at the same time providing a forum for communication of important findings. Included in these presentations are links, tools, and resources to continue this professional conversation. Remote conferencing has never been easier. 

We begin the series with an overview of sex differences in cardiovascular disease. Matthews explores how men and women differ in their presentation of chest pain, current discrepancies in revascularization treatments and why they remain prevalent, and identifiable risk factors that are unique to women. Gjeilo increases our understanding of pain and its impact on the patient experience, outlining important variables such as standardized definitions and reproduceable protocols to better evaluate the effectiveness of potential interventions. Magboo introduces us to variables critical to our understanding of surgical site infections (SSI). In collaboration with the Cardiothoracic Interdisciplinary Research Network (CIRN), a nationalized approach to the study of SSIs in the UK is introduced with opportunities to participate in data collection and evidence gathering designed to reduce variation in practice (4).  

Next, Wynne provides an important overview of patient reported outcome measures (PROM), contrasting traditional “disease focused” quality of life measures with the identification and pursuit of what matters most to patients. Fredericks identifies important barriers and solutions to research implementation, providing a model of nursing practice that embraces research at the bedside while demonstrating improved productivity and patient and clinician satisfaction, and that is financially sustainable.  Sanders concludes the series with an introduction to the CONNECT international research network, providing an overview of their work to date in creating a welcoming community for nursing and allied professional researchers worldwide. 

The authors have done an outstanding job of condensing years of complex study into engaging videos that provide informative synopses of important research topics. Key concepts emerge centered around serving the needs of our patients: How can we address knowledge gaps based on gender to provide better care to all? How can we amplify the patient’s voice to provide more optimal support of pain and recovery after cardiac surgery? And importantly, how can we foster a proliferation of research activity that strives to improve the experience these patients undergo in vast numbers after we advise them to do so? 

We hope this series is not only informational, but inspirational as well. On behalf of our nursing and allied professional members, we are excited to share these presentations with the CTSNet community.  

Jill Ley and Tara Bartley


Contributor Videos

1.    “The Sex Factor”—Better Cardiac Surgery Care for Women by Stacey Matthews

2.    Postsurgical Pain After Cardiac Surgery—An Update on the Evidence By Kari Hanne Gjeilo

3.   SSI in Focus: Assessment, Prevention, and Management by Rosalie Magboo

4.   Reporting Outcomes: What, When, and Why Patients’ Perspectives Matter by Rochelle Wynne

5.    Cardiac Surgery Healthcare Professionals’ Engagement in Research at the Bedside: Challenges and Opportunities by Suzanne Fredericks 

6.    CONNECTing Evidence and Practice of the Future: The Who, Why, and What of the Cardiac Surgery International Nursing and Allied Professional Research Network (CONNECT) by Julie Sanders 


  1. Stolley JM, Buckwalter KC, Garand L. The evolution of nursing research. J Neuromusculoskelet Syst 2000. 8(1):10-15.
  2. Veronesse ET, Pomerantzeff PMA, Jatene FB. Improving the heart team: an interdisciplinary team and integrated practice unit. World J Cardiol 2021;13(12):650-653.
  3. Cardiac Surgical International Nursing and Allied Professional Research Network (CONNECT). Portal accessed November 6, 2022.
  4. Cardiothoracic Interdisciplinary Research Network (CIRN). Portal accessed February 3, 2023.


The information and views presented on represent the views of the authors and contributors of the material and not of CTSNet. Please review our full disclaimer page here.

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