My job

Research must be relevant to real life

JANE MILLS is Professor of Nursing at James Cook University, Australia and the director of its Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Research. She is an internationally recognised grounded theorist and has significant expertise in rural nursing.

When and why did you develop an interest in research?

I had dabbled in research during my clinical career and, of course, became more knowledgeable and focused while completing my master’s and my PhD. My interest in research was sparked when I saw first-hand what a difference research can make to the development and growth of nurses as professionals and educated people and, subsequently, how that can lead to improvements in patient care. For me, research is about making a difference to people’s health. It can be done at the bedside and it can be done in academia. I want to make a difference by providing academic and research leadership.

Who has been most influential in your career as a nurse and as a researcher?

The timely words and actions of several people influenced some of my key career decisions. The first person of professional influence was probably Marcia Fawdry