Editorial

Strategic plan for nurse research is a good foundation

Commitment and resourcing by policy-makers and government is essential to plan’s success

Commitment and resourcing by policy-makers and government is essential to plan’s success

There has been much talk of the need to strategically build capacity and grow the community of nursing scholars. While traction has been growing in the profession, external buy-in has been variable. England’s chief nursing officer’s strategic plan for research indicates a recognition at policy level and that the time is ripe to achieve real change.

Five themes in the strategic plan

The strategy identifies five themes. The first relates to ‘aligning nurse-led research with

Commitment and resourcing by policy-makers and government is essential to plan’s success

Strategic plan for nurse research is good foundation
Picture: iStock

There has been much talk of the need to strategically build capacity and grow the community of nursing scholars. While traction has been growing in the profession, external buy-in has been variable. England’s chief nursing officer’s strategic plan for research indicates a recognition at policy level and that the time is ripe to achieve real change.

Five themes in the strategic plan

The strategy identifies five themes. The first relates to ‘aligning nurse-led research with public need’. Ensuring that nurses are working on research that addresses health and social issues, ensures impact and focuses limited resources in areas of greatest need.

The following two themes relate to creating a climate that empowers nurses to ‘lead, use, deliver and participate in research as part of their job’ and build a research system in which nurses can engage in research. This recognition of the importance of the nurses’ environment as an enabler is central to success in building research capacity and capability. Working in an environment that empowers and enables enhances job satisfaction, productivity and well-being.

Theme four focuses on offering ‘rewarding opportunities and sustainable careers’ that support these nurses to grow and flourish. Career pathways and opportunities for nurse researchers have been inconsistent and dependent on local support. This focus at a national level offers an opportunity to build career pathways and provides an example to other countries.

The final theme covers creating a digital practice environment to support research and enhance patient outcomes. Enhancing technology in clinical care leads to innovation in care and research. Nurses need to develop confidence and skills in technology and data science.

Challenge for all to contribute to nursing research

In contrast with this clear plan to strategically build nursing research capacity, the Australian Government Response to the National Nursing Education Review barely mentioned the need to support nursing research or the development of research capacity among nurses.

It is vital that the voice of nurse researchers is heard as progress is made. England’s strategic plan’s examples of impactful research being undertaken by nurses highlight the value in this work. Despite the plan’s promise, detail around the implementation is limited. Commitment and resourcing by policymakers and government is essential.

I challenge you all to become familiar with the policy debates around nursing research and the capacity of nurse researchers. Explore ways that you can contribute to building understanding of these issues, positively influencing policy and maximising opportunities for nurses and nurse researchers.

Nurse Researcher is always looking for new reviewers. Contact helen.hyland@rcni.com Find out more here


Find out more

Making Research Matter: Chief Nursing Officer for England’s Strategic Plan for Research


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