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Nursing contribution overlooked due to weak research, says expert

Nursing's contribution is underestimated because of ‘weak’ research, a leading workforce expert has warned.
Jim Buchan

The contribution of nursing is not being recognised due to weak and small-scale research, a leading workforce expert has claimed.

James Buchan, speaking at the WHO nursing and midwifery conference in Glasgow. Pic: Tina Norris

James Buchan, health professor at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, addressed World Health Organizations (WHO) nursing and midwifery conference in Glasgow last week. Professor Buchan is also a WHO European Observatory on Health Systems associate, with extensive policy research and health workforce strategy consulting experience.

His discussed WHO's goals for universal health coverage by 2030, including increasing recruitment and retention of the health workforce in developing countries.

Unacknowledged champions

Professor Buchan told delegates attending the conference that nurses and midwives can be leading champions of the strategy. But he explained that policymakers do not take the nursing and midwifery professions seriously enough because of inadequate research.

Too much of the

The contribution of nursing is not being recognised due to ‘weak and small-scale’ research, a leading workforce expert has claimed.

Jim Buchan
James Buchan, speaking at the WHO nursing and midwifery conference in Glasgow. Pic: Tina Norris

James Buchan, health professor at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, addressed World Health Organization’s (WHO) nursing and midwifery conference in Glasgow last week. Professor Buchan is also a WHO European Observatory on Health Systems associate, with extensive policy research and health workforce strategy consulting experience.

His discussed WHO's goals for universal health coverage by 2030, including increasing recruitment and retention of the health workforce in developing countries.

Unacknowledged champions

Professor Buchan told delegates attending the conference that nurses and midwives can be leading champions of the strategy. But he explained that policymakers do not take the nursing and midwifery professions seriously enough because of inadequate research.

‘Too much of the evidence based on nursing and midwifery contribution is weak, unambitious and inward-looking,’ he said. 

Professor Buchan added: ‘It is at best small-scale, single-site studies into the nursing workforce. It needs larger-scale research that focuses on the connections between staffing levels, skill mix and outcome measures.'

 

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