Managing people with long term conditions is a significant challenge for the UK and global health community. As the largest professional group in health care, nursing has a major role to play. For some time, nurse colleagues at Bournemouth University have been researching leadership, workforce development and value-based nurse education, as well as issues pertaining to long-term conditions such as cancer and chronic obstructive airway disease (COPD).
Our research centre is known as N4LTH and brings together academics and practice-based colleagues with passion, expertise and reputation in nurse education and research for impact on patient benefit and the preparation of a resilient workforce to support healthy communities. It is led by a core group of very experienced researchers with high level collaborations nationally and internationally.
The overall aim of the research centre is to contribute to the knowledge base informing the nursing management of long-term health challenges, a rapidly growing aspect of contemporary health care.
Palliative and End of Life care
PhD projects include shared decision-making in advanced pancreatic cancer and exploring end of life care in care homes. A programme of research activity around music therapy and end of life care is on-going. A potential project is being developed with a local hospice.
Nursing leadership and workforce development
Our current programmes of work include improving nurse retention, exploring nurse student transition to registered practice, student preparation for nurse leadership and investigating RN returners. Related PhD projects include an investigation of organisational culture in the provision of nutritional care for older patients.
Humanised care practices to live well with long term health challenges
The nursing department has an established history of developing nursing curricula based on humanising care philosophy as well as associated publications and conference presentations. This is being developed to work with clinical practitioners to consider issues around the management of deteriorating patients.
A research project is underway in this theme, which explores the use of BU’s humanising care philosophy in education.
Educational evaluation: the development and maintenance of a caring disposition in the BU Nursing Curriculum
A new undergraduate adult nursing curriculum was introduced in 2013. Responding to the demand for compassionate as well as technically competent nurses, the curriculum had a clear underpinning philosophy based on the Humanisation developed by Todres and Galvin (2012). A research study was constructed to explore the beliefs and values of caring, held by student nurses from entry to completion of their education programme.
A qualitative longitudinal approach was used with two small cohorts of nursing students (February 2013 and 2014). The study concluded in Feb 2017. Ethical approval from Bournemouth University was granted. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Four themes emerged: i) Articulating the terms caring and dignity ii) Recognising the need for individualisation iii) Learning nursing and iv) Personal journey. Both cohorts acknowledged the influence of the humanising curriculum on the way they perceived care as they journeyed through the programme, moving from notions of caring for with a focus on skills to caring about with a focus on compassionate human connections both with clients and colleagues.
The full paper published as a result of the study can be found here.
Evidence-based nurse education
This is the newest theme in the research centre; a programme of activity is being developed.