Are we there yet? A scoping review of factors that increase academic research capacity in schools of nursing and midwifery

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1. To identify approaches and strategies that can build research capacity among academics from the disciplines of nursing and midwifery working in tertiary education institutions. 2. To identify evidence-informed strategies that enable academic transformation of professional identity from clinician to researcher.

Nurses and midwives are core to leading health practice and system change through research. Despite manifold efforts to build research capacity among nurse academics over the past two decades, there is scant evidence about what specific strategies are effective and few robust evaluations of any capacity building strategies.

This scoping review was guided by Arksey and O’Malley’s framework to identify key concepts and map the available evidence specifically related to volume, nature and characteristics.

The authors followed a scoping review framework and used a PRISMA flowchart to report findings. Electronic data bases (CINAHL, ERIC, Medline and Scopus) were searched between April and June 2020. Literature published between 2000 and 2020 was searched. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) was used for data coding and extraction and all included papers were subsequently thematically analysed.

Fourteen studies from seven countries met the inclusion criteria and were comprised of literature reviews (n = 4) case studies (n = 3) qualitative survey (n = 1) and intervention studies (n = 6). Four themes were identified as follows: academic identity, organisational changes, leadership and research skills development.

Rigorous evaluation of research capacity building strategies for academics from the disciplines of nursing and midwifery is a significant gap in the literature. To promulgate research among nurse and midwife academics, strong, supportive leadership and a range of inclusive and targeted approaches are needed. Significant work remains in terms of negotiating with the broader university to operationalise supportive systems and structures. Clarifying how self-concept has an impact on building and maintaining a research identity for nurse and midwife academics is an area worthy of further study.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103355
Number of pages7
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Early online date25 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


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