So you think you’ve designed an effective recruitment protocol?
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So you think you’ve designed an effective recruitment protocol?

Cara Green Graduate alum, Faculty of Health Disciplines, Athabasca University, Thunder Bay ONT, Canada
Virginia Vandall-Walker Associate professor, Faculty of Health Disciplines, Athabasca University, Breton AB, Canada

Background Recruiting acutely ill patients to participate in research can be challenging. This paper outlines the difficulties the first author encountered in a study and the steps she took to overcome problems with research ethics, gain access to participants and implement a recruitment protocol in multiple hospitals. It also compares these steps with literature related to recruitment.

Aim To inform and inspire neophyte researchers about the need for planning and resilience when dealing with recruitment challenges in multiple hospitals.

Discussion The multiple enablers and barriers to the successful implementation of a hospital-based study recruitment protocol are explored based on a neophyte researcher’s optimistic assumptions about this stage of the study.

Conclusions Perseverance, adequately planning for contingencies, and accepting the barriers and challenges to recruitment are essential for completing one’s research study and ensuring fulfilment as a researcher.

Implications for practice Healthcare students carrying out research require adequate knowledge about conducting hospital-based, patient research to inform their recruitment plan. Maximising control over recruitment, allowing for adequate time to conduct data collection, and maintaining a good work ethic will help to ensure success.

Nurse Researcher. 24, 4, 32-34. doi: 10.7748/nr.2017.e1502


Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest


Received: 26 June 2016

Accepted: 05 September 2016

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