The Australasian Nursing and Midwifery Clinical Trials Network (ANMCTN) has put in a bid for federal government funding in the 2023-24 Budget to build and expand nursing and midwifery led clinical research.
Importantly, the funding bid will facilitate growth of the ANMCTN’s recently developed mentoring program aimed at building early and mid-career nurse and midwife researchers.
Nurse and midwife clinical researchers are being encouraged to apply for mentoring through the ANMCTN Mentoring Program. The program is aimed at building capacity in nursing and midwifery-led research by increasing leadership skills.
“Mentoring support is a key strategy of the network; we are here to support the current and next generation of nursing and midwifery clinical researchers, to inform and drive healthcare for our community,” said Professor Marion Eckert, Director of the Rosemary Bryant AO Research Centre (RBRC) at the University of South Australia and Chair of the Australasian Nursing and Midwifery Clinical Trials Network Executive Committee.
“Nursing and midwifery research can improve patient care, advance the science of clinical care and improve the efficiency of the healthcare system.
“If successful in its bid, the federal funding would accelerate the ANMCTN’s mentoring program and help to produce nursing and midwifery research leaders for the future.” Professor Eckert said.
“We have engaged with nurses and midwives at all levels in their research career trajectory and asked what support they need, and the number one thing, the thing that is identified more often than any other gap, is access to better research mentoring support across all career levels.”
“We will increase and enhance nursing and midwifery led research and expand the delivery of evidence-based, cost-effective models of care.”
The financial bid will allow the ANMCTN to:
- Grow the number of nurse and midwife led clinical trials
- Retain nurses and midwives in the professions
- Offer sustainable career pathways in research
- Elevate the profile of nurse and midwife led research
- Foster the next generation of nursing and midwifery research leaders, and
- Develop new industry investment partnerships.
“We won’t know until the budget is announced if our bid is successful, but if we do receive some good news on 9 May, it will be a win for future nurse and midwife research leaders,” Professor Eckert said.
“Additional supporting structures for nurses and midwives interested in clinical research is needed”, she said. Nurse academics have lamented for several years that nursing and midwifery research has fallen behind, with funding favoured for other projects.
The ANMCTN was established in 2020 to bring together academic institutions to effectively facilitate and support nurse or midwife-led clinical research and the translation of evidence into practice. The Network has grown from 10 to 26 universities and institutions from across Australia and New Zealand.
Nurses and midwives make up approximately 60% of the healthcare workforce and are the main providers of healthcare to individuals and communities. Despite this, nursing and midwifery is often underrepresented in the leadership of large-scale clinical research projects and clinical trials.
“There are 531,000 nurses and midwives in Australia and New Zealand – working on the frontline with tremendous potential to be influential by contributing to advancing science and knowledge in all aspects of healthcare,” Professor Eckert said.
“Nurses and midwives are well positioned to lead high quality, scalable research that drives efficiencies in healthcare and has a meaningful and sustained impact on individuals and communities.”
Nurses and midwives interested in evidence-based practice or who want to understand more about research, are encouraged to join the Australasian Nursing and Midwifery Clinical Trials Network and consider applying for the mentoring program.
“Investing in nursing and midwifery led research is an investment in the workforce,” Professor Eckert said.
“Research shows active health services have better recruitment and retention of staff, improved efficiency, and provided better quality of care with better consumer experience.
Network membership extends to individual nurses, midwives and clinical researchers who work anywhere in health. All with an interest in research are encouraged to join.
To find out more about the Mentoring Program and/or sign up as a member of the Australasian Nursing and Midwifery Clinical Trials Network, go to: anmctn.com.au