Cooke, Mary and Kirshbaum, Marilyn (2007) Questioning collaboration in research: Do the ideals result in realities? In: RCN annual international nursing research conference, 1-4 May 2007, Dundee, Scotland. (Unpublished)

UK nurses experience a lack of career opportunity
in research yet express a desire to contribute
to a credible knowledge base. Despite the
importance given to nursing research as the
foundation to quality patient care, few nurses
decide on research as a viable career. In an
attempt to address these issues, an interprofessional
debate was held: “The idealism
and realism of collaborative research”. The
philosophy that policy drives patient care and
research drives evidence based policy framed
discussion in a novel way through interactive
facilitated networking. Three half hour presentations
challenged views on nursing research
issues: building capacity, quality processes
and career pathways were given by respected
nursing academics. Following each presentation,
participants were asked to reflect and
respond to the content via a series of five minute
speed discussions and record the exchange of
ideas and opinions. This spontaneous data was
collected from participants and fed-forward for
panel debate. Analysis of the material generated
four distinct categories:
1) Integration of practice and research was
a priority, while questioning the value of
2) Partnerships between professionals, practitioners
and academics indicate collaboration is
valued, and supports credibility and quality
3) A substantive research career structure
would address substantive barriers of time and
funding alongside suitable mentorship
4) Incentivised research activity indicates
commitment to research but salary and job
security are compromised. These findings
illustrate the scholarly level of debate and have
relevance as global issues. The disparity of
resources available to invest in health research
in different cultures indicates a dramatic
policy shift is required in some countries and
promotes the question: “Does raising research
capacity, developing research quality and
careers enhance the idealism and realism of
professional research?” Our presentation will
identify issues of interprofessional research collaboration
and expose facilitative networking as
a method of debating complex problems.

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