July saw the inaugural meeting of the Respiratory Nurse Research Consortium (RNRC) in Manchester. The consortium is a collaborative venture between ARNS (Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists) and Edge Hill University, with an overall aim to empower respiratory nurses to speak with a single voice on research issues, enabling an influencing, lobbying, and consultative forum. With a dearth of respiratory nurse led research and no clear respiratory nurse research strategy, the RNRC aims to mobilise and aggregate the collective experience, knowledge, and capacity for respiratory care research nationally. Anecdotal evidence and consensus opinion amongst those who care for respiratory patients agree that the current clinical situation for the majority of nurses does not facilitate the participation in, or undertaking of, high quality research (Sherrington, 2011). This is often reflected in the lack of quality nurse-led research and it’s dissemination at major conferences. Respiratory nurses are the ideal leaders of research which could potentially improve morbidity and mortality for respiratory patients, but a lack of co-ordination and common agendas has negated against taking this forward in the past. This situation has several facets:
- Dearth of nurse-led, nurse-focused published research.
- An uncoordinated approach exists resulting in potentially wasted and duplicated effort, and poor allocation of time and resources.
- Most research results from academic study – usually small scale, local and often not disseminated/published appropriately.
- Nurses have the relevant research questions and clinical expertise, but lack resources – mostly protected time and the necessary research skills – to conduct quality research.
The RNRC aims to facilitate nurses to lead on research which is relevant to them and their patients, through co-ordination, mentorship, and collaboration.
With representation from across the UK the first meeting brought together senior respiratory nurse clinicians and academics to scope the vision and remit of the RNRC. Research support mechanisms and expertise are currently not easy to access; the research consortium will endeavour to change this by providing a hub of research expertise and resource which is readily available to respiratory nurses and potential collaborators. Building on the findings from the ongoing Delphi survey on respiratory nurse research priorities, the aim of the consortium is to facilitate collaborative research, led by nurses, which will guide, inform, and progress the care delivered to respiratory patients across the UK. For further information, or if you would like to become involved with the work of the RNRC please contact Dr Carol Kelly at [email protected]