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Nursing research centre a first

Dedicated research centre will focus on developing strategies to influence nursing practice and policy. By Linda Belardi.

A five-year, multimillion-dollar research centre dedicated to improving nursing care has been launched at Griffith University.

The first dedicated centre for research excellence in nursing was opened by the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, in Brisbane, who praised the quality of the research expertise.

Staffed by eight nursing professors, a health economist and a biostatistician, the centre will work collaboratively to help translate clinical research into practice and policy to improve outcomes for hospital patients.

To help to ensure the research is cutting edge, an economic evaluation will be tied to every study, said the centre’s director, Wendy Chaboyer. “We will be aiming to generate the highest quality evidence to guide nursing practice,” she told Nursing Review.

“And often, if you can make the economic argument and demonstrate that it is cost effective, it’s more likely to change policy.”

She said nurses were increasingly being asked to demonstrate their impact on patient outcomes.

Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the NHMRC Research Excellence in Nursing Interventions for Hospitalised Patients (NCREN) is focused on delivering best practice nursing care for hospital patients. In particular, it will work towards trialling new interventions in skin integrity and symptom management.

Chaboyer said a major goal of the centre will also be to develop the research capacity of clinical nurses.

The substantial funding period over five years will also assist the researchers to see a project through from systematic review to policy implementation in hospitals.

“This amount of funding allows us to do that, whereas most researchers only get three years of funding to answer certain questions. This allows us to look at the whole gamut,” Chaboyer said.
Initial research at the centre has begun to study the impact of complementary therapies in the treatment and prevention of discomfort and nausea in patients.

The centre has received $2.5 million funding for an initial five-year program of research. In addition to six Australians, the research team also includes professors of nursing from Toronto and Manchester.

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