Update on Survey of Nursing Research in Ontario

by Admin on April 10, 2010

in Surveys

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In August of this year, an online survey of nursing research activity in Ontario was implemented to obtain the opinions of nurses involved in research regarding the actual and potential impact of the recent changes and reductions in CIHR, SSHRC and CNF funding.

The Nursing Research and Nursing Education committees of the RNAO Board engaged the input and support of both NRIG and PNEIG executive members in the development and analysis of this survey. The survey included demographic data, research activity and roles as well as projected impacts of funding changes. Between August 11 and September 14, there were 92 nurse researchers in academia, 157 nurses in clinical practice settings and 131 students (aspiring and current graduate students) who participated.

A research assistant was hired to work on the data analysis and preparation of the report. Preliminary findings have been provided to committee members this past week and a draft report will be compiled for feedback in January 2010. The final report will be made available at the Annual General Meeting in April of next year.

The following are excerpts from the narrative data speak emphatically about the potential impact of funding changes for nurses involved in research as academics, clinicians and research trainees (graduate students):
“Given that there is no pot of money for nursing research in Canada at the federal level, over time, we will loose the brightest and the best researchers. As well, those researchers who remain and apply for grant monies will be forced to shape their research agenda to fit other disciplines’ objectives.” – Academic

“My impression is that while funding cuts will decrease the research done by professionals at the top of the corporate hierarchy, it will exponentially and significantly decrease the research done by clinicians. The research done closest to the point of care has the most relevance for health care practice and quality of patient care, so in my mind, this is a tragedy.” – Clinician

“As graduate students, we do not receive funding from out supervisors due to the limited funds available to faculty researchers. We spend hours putting together applications for significant funding only to be ‘beat out’ by those conducting laboratory research (i.e. medical sciences). We spend hours applying for smaller nursing grants that are minimal in dollar amount that we piece together, and are thus often forced to work part or full-time to continue to support ourselves during full-time education. “ – Graduate Student

RNAO will use this data to engage with other provincial and federal partners to advocate for sustaining and enhancing access to funds that support nursing research and professional knowledge generation in Ontario. We will provide regular updates of the project over the next few months. Many thanks to all of our members who took time to share their voice and experiences through this survey.

Nancy Purdy, Member at Large, Nursing Research
Kathleen White-Williams, Member at Large, Nursing Education

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