Nursing researcher receives CANO/Pfizer Research Award of Excellence

February 12, 2008

    Denise Bryant-Lukosius is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing and Department of Oncology. File photo.
Five hundred delegates at the 2007 Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology (CANO) conference rose to their feet as Dr. Denise Bryant-Lukosius accepted the CANO/Pfizer Research Award of Excellence for her influential work related to Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) roles, with a particular focus in oncology.

Bryant-Lukosius is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing and Department of Oncology and a senior researcher in the CHSRF/CIHR Chair Program in APN. She holds a joint appointment as a clinical nurse specialist for the Juravinski Cancer Program at Hamilton Health Sciences, where she has clinical and research responsibilities related to oncology APN role development and research.

Internationally, Bryant-Lukosius is recognized for her leadership in addressing the barriers to effective APN role implementation. She developed and is currently evaluating the PEPPA Framework (Participatory, Evidence-informed, Patient-focused, Process for APN role development, implementation and evaluation)which draws on the principles of participatory action research to promote health and social change in practice settings that employ APN roles.

This framework has been lauded within and beyond oncology practice settings. It has been used to implement different types of APN roles in various practice settings around the world, including the introduction of other types of advanced health provider roles such as in physiotherapy. It is also being used to inform APN health policies, and is a component of APN education programs such as the Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner Program in Ontario.

A core component of the framework is the collective involvement of key stakeholders, including patients, in the role planning and evaluation process. The iterative, goal-directed and outcome-based process also permits prospective evaluation to ensure ongoing progress in achieving APN role goals and continued improvements to the model of care in which the role is situated.

The steps of the PEPPA framework include:

Step 1: Define Population and Define Current Model of Care

Step 2: Identify Stakeholders and Recruit Participants

Step 3: Determine Need for a New Model of Care

Step 4: Identify Priority Problems and Goals to Improve Care

Step 5: Define New Model of Care and APN Role

Step 6: Plan Implementation

Step 7: Initiate APN Role Implementation Plan

Step 8: Evaluate APN role and new Model of Care

Step 9: Monitor the APN Role and Model of Care over the Long-term

The need for, and world-wide interest in, this type of framework has been evident since Bryant-Lukosius first published her work early in 2004 in the Journal of Advanced Nursing (JAN), the world's most read nursing journal with a readership that includes practitioners, researchers, administrators, policy makers and educators.

This article and a companion article describing the issues influencing the introduction of advanced practice nursing roles were ranked among the top 20 downloaded from JAN in 2007, suggesting that her leadership and research excellence will have a positive impact on health services, education and policy internationally.

Since the publication of the PEPPA framework, Bryant-Lukosius has been focused on a specific enabler of APN role success, that being mentorship. As a founder and current co-chair of Cancer Care Ontario's Oncology APN Community of Practice, Bryant-Lukosius has worked closely with leaders in practice, policy and administration across the country to develop and evaluate a provincial interprofessional e-based mentorship program.

The overall goal of the project is to improve the health of patients and families affected by cancer through effective use of APN expertise across the cancer continuum.

Bryant-Lukosius joins her colleagues Dauna Crooks and Carolyn Ingram in the elite group of previous recipients of the CANO/Pfizer Research Award of Excellence. With three such faculty awards in a period of six years, more than any other university or organization in Canada, McMaster's School of Nursing continues to be recognized as a leader nationally in nurse-led cancer research.

It is the vision, passion and dedication of faculty members like Bryant-Lukosius that enable the School to strengthen the contribution of nursing to the improvement of health for all, locally and internationally.