Creating effective nursing partnerships: relating community development to participatory action research
The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the importance of creating effective partnerships between nurses practising community development (CD) and nurses engaged in participatory action research (PAR). To that end, an overview of the theoretical principles of CD and PAR is provided and the central tenets of each methodology explored. This is followed by a discussion of the similarities and differences inherent in CD and PAR which derive from the same theoretical and philosophical foundation; that of critical social theory. Examples of two research projects highlight the relationship between CD and PAR and demonstrate the value of creating effective practitioner/researcher partnerships. Finally, some of the lessons learned in creating these important partnerships will be presented. Although this call for practitioner/researcher alliance is not new, what is new is the central role the practising nurse could take in research. Creating partnerships between practising nurses and nurse researchers advances the opportunity to actualize responsive and effective PAR and to fulfill nursing's social contract.