Developing the research capacity of departments of nursing and midwifery based in higher education: a review of the literature
The purpose of this literature review is to identify those factors which might affect the research capacity of departments of nursing based in higher education, and to make recommendations based upon the findings to enable departments to develop their capacity to undertake research. There is a dearth of published research which directly addresses this issue and therefore publications were reviewed which related to: the impact on nurse educators of the integration of nursing into higher education; nurse educators’ attitudes towards research and their research role; analysis of the results of the 1992 and 1996 Research Assessment Exercises and commentaries on them; developing research within nursing generally; and factors affecting research productivity within nursing and related disciplines. The papers were analysed according to the following themes: academic qualifications; research skills; time available for research; motivation to undertake research; a culture of research; subject specialization; subject areas for research; research quality; and a nursing research council. The conclusions are first, that whilst there is a dearth of literature which relates directly to research capacity development in academic departments of nursing, there is much advice which can be drawn upon. Second, the article concludes that the factors affecting research capacity development are numerous and complex and it is not something which can only take place at the departmental level. There are also issues which require consideration nationally, as well as factors which depend upon the individual academic, and these impact upon the research capacity of academic departments of nursing. The factors are summarized at the end of the paper in the conclusions and recommendations.