Clinician researcher career pathway for registered nurses and midwives: A proposal

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Journal Article
International Journal of Nursing Practice, 2018, 24 (3)
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© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd Aim: To consider clinician researcher career frameworks and propose a new pathway, integrating university and health service components to support research career progression within nursing and midwifery practice. Background: Hospitals with research-active clinicians report fewer adverse events and better patient outcomes. Nursing clinician researcher career development is therefore an international priority, yet positions and expectations associated with this are not always well articulated, with nurses and midwives challenged to accommodate research and clinical careers. Design: This discussion paper describes nurse/midwife clinician researcher career frameworks and a new pathway that aligns academic and nursing role descriptions. Data sources: The new framework was informed by a brief literature search for international framework documents, three Australian state-based Nurses and Midwives Awards: the Australian Qualifications Framework, publically available University Academic (Research) Award schedules and academic staff descriptions, and state health department and health services publications. Implications for nursing: The implementation of research-based practice is a key element of nursing and midwifery roles and “advanced practice” position descriptions have well-defined research expectations. This paper considers structures to support their achievement. Conclusion: This paper provides a blueprint for clinician researcher career development. It elevates the research domain as an equal alongside clinical, managerial and educational clinical career development.
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