Connecting evidence with practice and policy for your health
How does research make a difference?
A story about how research is improving the way we provide health care at IH...
When Nurse Practitioners (NPs) were introduced into B.C. and joined the IH team in 2005, research was one method used to support the transition. NPs brought opportunities to transform services and improve accessibility, but key supports were needed to make it happen. At IH, a community of practice (CoP) was started to support the early transition of NPs into practice. NPs in the CoP later joined one of Interior Health’s champions for inter-professional practice (Linda Sawchenko) and a doctoral student (Dr. Judith Burgess) at the University of Victoria to research NP collaboration and integration in primary health care settings. Study results showed how the IH community of practice (CoP) contributed to integrating NPs into our health-care system.
The participatory action research process supported NPs to develop leadership and research skills and created a valuable space for sharing knowledge relevant to NPs’ unique and diverse practice settings. The CoP was seen as an important peer support network, where senior NPs could support new NPs—even when they were located in rural communities miles from one another. One of the NPs noted during the research study, “We just help one another be successful!”
The research study also supported NPs to identify how they strengthened patient-centred, health-care delivery. In an NP/Family Physician Primary Health Care Model, NPs augment services provided by physicians and bring a compassionate and patient-centred perspective to the health-care team. In subsequent evaluations of this model, patients reported feeling empowered, included in decision-making, and able to become active members of their own health-care team. Physicians reported enhanced job satisfaction through the sharing of decision-making, responsibility, and workload.
Even though the research study is over, the CoP continues to be an important support for NPs in their practice at IH. NPs state that the CoP contributes to retention and promotes recruitment of NPs and the integrated NP-Family Physician Primary Health Care Model is making an important contribution to sustainable primary care in our communities!
Want to learn more about this study? View a poster or look for the paper below at your library!
Burgess, J. and L. Sawchenko. 2011. “Community of Practice: A Nurse Practitioner Collaborative Model”. Journal of Nursing Leadership, 24(2): 99-112.
How do I apply for an ethical review?
Learn how to apply for an ethical review of your research.
Inventory of IH-based research
We are currently building a list of Interior Health based research projects. Contact us for more information about these or other research-related questions.
Participating in a clinical trial?
Have you been asked to participate in a clinical trial? Researchers in British Columbia are trying to learn more about people’s experiences involving clinical trials.
Are you interested in learning more about research at IH? Are you looking for a research contact at IH? Do you have a story about research to share? Would you like to connect with the Nursing Research Facilitator? Contact us.