Interventions to support and develop clinician-researcher leadership in one health district

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Journal Article
International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 2017, 30 (6), pp. 528 - 538
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© 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: Clinical leadership, researcher capacity and a culture of clinical inquiry are needed in the clinical workforce. The purpose of this paper is to report on a program which was used to develop and support clinicians to explore practice, implement innovation, translate evidence and build researcher capacity. Design/methodology/approach: This pragmatic paper presents a case study of a nursing and midwifery clinician-researcher development program. The multi-site, multi-modal program focused on education, mentoring and support, communication networks, and clinician-university partnerships strategies to build workforce capacity and leadership. Findings: Over 2,000 staff have been involved in the program representing a range of health disciplines. The study day program has been delivered to 500 participants with master classes having over 1,500 attendees. The research mentor program has demonstrated that participants increased their confidence for research leadership roles and are pursuing research and quality assurance projects. Communication strategies improved the visibility of nursing and midwifery. Research limitations/implications: This case study was conducted in one health district, which may not have relevance to other geographical areas. The small numbers involved in the research mentor program need to be considered when reviewing the findings. Practical implications: The program has been a catalyst for developing a research culture, clinical leadership and research networks that strengthen workforce capacity. Building researcher skills in the workforce will better support quality healthcare and the examination of everyday practice. Social implications: Building a culture of healthcare that is based on inquiry and evidence-based practice will lead to more appropriate and consistent healthcare delivery. Consumers have the right to expect health clinicians will challenge everyday practice and have the skills and capability to translate or generate best evidence to underpin professional and service delivery. Originality/value: This paper provides strategies for building workforce researcher capacity and capability. The program provides opportunity for building research networks and role modeling the value and importance of research to practice and quality improvement.
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