New nursing research centre to address industry challenges

UniSA Professor of Cancer Care Nursing Marion Eckert; ANMF (SA Branch) Director of Operations and Strategy Rob Bonner; retired past-President of the RANF (SA Branch) and ICN Dr Rosemary Bryant AO; ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Assoc Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM; Head of School of Nursing & Midwifery, UniSA, Professor Carol Grech and President of International Council of Nurses Judith Shamian. HEALTH
UniSA Professor of Cancer Care Nursing Marion Eckert; ANMF (SA Branch) Director of Operations and Strategy Rob Bonner; retired past-President of the RANF (SA Branch) and ICN Dr Rosemary Bryant AO; ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Assoc Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM; Head of School of Nursing & Midwifery, UniSA, Professor Carol Grech and President of International Council of Nurses Judith Shamian.

A new UniSA research centre developed in partnership with industry is anticipated to become a flagship for health research in South Australia and nationally.

The result of a partnership between UniSA and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) (SA Branch), the Centre will be named in honour of Dr Rosemary Bryant AO, a former president of the national nursing federation and immediate past president of the International Council of Nurses.

The Rosemary Bryant AO Research Centre will be based in UniSA’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, and Head of the School Professor Carol Grech believes it will be a boom for the State to undertake research that is informed, leading-edge and relevant to the needs of the health industry now and into the future.

“Considerable challenges exist across the health system and there are significant gaps in evidence to inform nursing and midwifery practice,” Prof Grech says.

For example, the State Government has committed to improving the quality of the local health system through its ‘Transforming Health’ initiatives and Prof Grech says many of these initiatives will need to be evaluated through robust research into system planning and resourcing, appropriate models of care, nursing and midwifery workforce requirements and clinical outcomes.

“Under the leadership of Professor Marion Eckert – Professor of Cancer Care Nursing in the School – we believe the Centre’s work will complement the research already undertaken in the School and offer increased opportunities to attract higher degree research students and support early career researchers,” Prof Grech says.

Prof Grech says for Dr Rosemary Bryant AO to have bestowed her name to the Centre and to the not-for-profit Foundation the ANMF (SA) has established, signifies the importance and relevance of this partnership in her eyes.

Dr Bryant was Director of Nursing at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and was the first Chief Nursing Officer in the Commonwealth Department of Health, a position she held until her retirement last year.

Under her leadership, many advances were achieved in the continuing development of nursing policy, practice and research in South Australia.

Dr Bryant says the ANMF (SA Branch) recognises evidence-based research is vital in influencing government policy in the health sector.

“I would like to see research that develops evidence around the relationship between the numbers of nurses and patient outcomes, also research directed and informed by nurses who have intimate knowledge of the different environments in which they deliver care,” Dr Bryant says.

“As we face an increasing pull on the health system, being able to provide the highest standard of care for the amount of money available is vital and the more thoroughly we understand how to get the best outcomes for patients, the better.”

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says the Centre will support research that is deeply connected to the issues and challenges faced by nurses and midwives.

“This is an exciting partnership for the State because it will raise the profile of nursing and midwifery research, a field that has grown enormously in the past 10 years,” Prof Lloyd says.

“Working in partnership with the ANMF, we can support research that is both relevant and quickly translatable into health settings. It also gives us an opportunity to lead the nation in developing the kind of research that will influence and inform modern nurse education and practice.”

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