Developing research capacity in schools of nursing and midwifery has been problematic for over thirty years. Decades of literature have explored strategies for building research capacity among nurse academics, with little consensus on the most effective approaches, strategies, or their impact (Condell & Begley, 2007; McCance et al., 2007; Hafsteinsdóttir et al., 2017).
Charles Sturt University’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health (SNMIH) had been moderately successful in the Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) assessment but needs to lift research capacity and outputs to remain competitive. Covid-19 restrictions and university restructure impacted education, research, and scholarship activities throughout 2020 and 2021. This added complexity to building research capacity and capability across the school’s six rural campuses spanning a geographical area of 520 kilometres from north to South and 630 kilometres from East to west.
Following development of an environmental scan and broad consultation, an action research project began in 2020. The aim was to optimise research performance and enable academics in the SNMIH to achieve their research potential and increase research outputs. Round one data included online surveys and focus groups. This data combines with results from a scoping review (Grant, Laver & Robinson 2022) resulted in the following actions: all-staff face-to-face forums on ‘Locating our identity and purpose’, lunchtime mini seminars, a writing for publication series, two externally run workshops on ‘Planning your research career’ and ‘Time for research’. These were complimented by increased visibility of research leadership and communication, and links to university and faculty research professional development. A second round of online surveys and an all-staff forum followed. This presentation reports preliminary analysis of this data and offers recommendations for future capacity building activities.

Condell, S., & Begley, C., (2007). Capacity building: a concept analysis of the term applied to research. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 13, pp. 268-275. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-172X.2007.00637.x
Grant, J., Laver, S., & Robinson, T., (2022). Are we there yet? A scoping review of factors that increase academic research capacity in schools of nursing and midwifery. Nurse Education in Practice. DOI: 10.1016/j.nepr.2022.103355
Hafsteinsdóttir, T.B., van der Zwaag, A.M., & Schuurmans, M.J., (2017). Leadership mentoring in nursing research, career development and scholarly productivity: a systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 10 (75), pp. 21-34. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2017.07.004
McCance, T.V., Fitzsimons, D., Keeney, S., Hasson, F., & McKenna H.P., (2007). Capacity building in nursing and midwifery research and development: an old priority with a new perspective. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 59 (1), pp. 57-67. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04280.x
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2022
Event8th International Nurse Education Conference: From education to impact: transforming nursing and midwifery education - Sitges, Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 19 Oct 202222 Oct 2022


Conference8th International Nurse Education Conference
OtherThe NETNEP series of conferences are designed to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experience of nursing, midwifery and healthcare education worldwide. NETNEP 2022 will continue this philosophy by encouraging the sharing of research and practice of nursing, midwifery and healthcare education as it impacts on the learning experience of students and qualified practitioners and the health and social care needs, and safety, of the individuals and communities it serves worldwide.
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