International Practice Development Journal


Title of ArticleThe nursing professorial unit: translating acute and critical care nursing research
Type of ArticleCritical Reflection on Practice Development
Author/sMartin Christensen and Judy Craft
ReferenceVolume 7, Issue 2, Article 9
Date of PublicationNovember 2017
Keywordsnursing research unit, practice development, professorial unit, translational nursing research

Background and context: Implementation of current research in practice is challenging for ward-based nursing staff. However, university-based nursing academics are seen as the research experts and are perhaps well placed to support clinical nursing research. The problem lies with the divide between practice and academia; universities often use the clinical environment as the place to conduct research but this is often not translated effectively into practice. The development of a nursing professorial unit for acute and critical care was undertaken to meet this challenge. The unit’s key aim is to develop, mentor and support a nursing research culture that is wholly situated within and driven by the requirements of the clinical environment.

Aim: The aim of this article is to offer some insights as to how staff set about engaging with and developing the nursing professorial unit  to support nursing research in our local hospital.

Conclusions: The article highlights how an effective and coordinated approach to supporting clinical nursing research is possible. The nursing professorial unit has been successful in bridging the divide between academia and practice by using a non-university approach to supporting nursing research. Instead we have adopted the philosophy that practice is the sole driver for research and as academics our role is to support that position.

Implications for practice:

  • The adoption of the nursing professorial unit model for supporting clinical nursing research is beneficial in closing the divide between clinical practice and the university
  • The continual presence of the academics in the clinical environment has had a positive impact on research development and implementation in practice
  • The nursing professorial unit has become an integral part of the nursing culture in the hospital environment

This article by Martin Christensen and Judy Craft is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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