Ontario invests in nursing research to provide evidence for policy

The Nursing Health Services Research Unit (NHSRU) is celebrating Nurses’ Week by announcing an investment from the Ontario government to continue to inform evidence based nursing policy and system performance in the province.

The Nursing Secretariat and Research Unit of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) are funding the Knowledge Translation and Exchange (KTE) program entitled “Translating Evidence to Enhance Quality Care and Health System Performance: A Focus on Nursing and Health Services”.

Led by Scientific Directors Andrea Baumann at the McMaster University site and Lianne Jeffs at the Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto Site, the $3 million research program the NHSRU consists of a core team of researchers at McMaster University and the Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto working in partnership with other academic institutions and decision makers. Four key areas within the KTE program are to:

  • Create and link databases to respond to questions raised by knowledge users.
  • Synthesize and mobilize knowledge to improve workforce planning and stability.
  • Evaluate the impact of policy on the effective utilization of nursing and allied health personnel.
  • Assess the impact of KTE strategies for expanded nursing work, leadership and care innovations on health system performance, sustainability, safety and quality outcomes

Monday the province announced it is expanding the Nursing Graduate Guarantee initiative to include nurses beginning employment in the province and internationally educated nurses. Andrea Baumann and her research team have evaluated the impact of this investment for the past five years.

“It has been a privilege to provide the evidence that underpins the continued nursing full-time employment policy. The cutting edge research has tracked the impact of a sustained government investment into workforce stability and productivity,” said Andrea Baumann.

Baumann has authored six studies on Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) and she is also pleased with the government’s plan to create the Nursing Career OrIENtation Initiative, to help IENs practise full-time in Ontario.

The NHSRU’s Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing University of Toronto site will continue to lead the evaluation of the impact of the MOHLTC’s Late Career Nurse Initiative (LCNI). Using an integrated knowledge translation approach, Lianne Jeffs and team will also be leading a study that aims to develop, implement and evaluate strategies to enhance the use of performance data to drive quality nursing services and health care.