Mentoring Partnerships in Research: Supporting Holistic Nursing Research

Tuesday, 13 July 2010: 11:10 AM

Joan P. Roche, PhD, RN, GCNS-BC
School of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA


Nurses build the science for our profession through the practice of research. The doctorate is the preparation for nurse researchers. The research focus of bachelors and masters level education is the understanding and application of research. While PhD nurses are prepared to conduct research, it is practicing nurses who have an abundance of questions suitable for research. A creative model to enrich the research process is to pair clinical nurses with experienced academic researchers in a mentoring partnership.

Purpose:  The purpose of this presentation is to describe a case study of a research mentoring partnership.

Methods:  The method for this research facilitation project was a joint appointment model between a School of Nursing and the Nursing division of an academic medical center. A nursing professor was hired in this partnership model to work with nurses in the  medical center. The partnership goals included the development of research opportunities for the nurses employed at the medical center. This is the case study of one research project completed through this partnership.

Results:  Over a three year course, this collaborative partnership developed and implemented a research study to explore this phenomenon, “intentionality and the practice of hatha yoga”. Each partner contributed in their area of expertise. The clinical nurse contributed as an expert yoga instructor. The professor guided the research process. They explored the literature together. The professor engaged collaborators representing the theory and the method. The yoga nurse engaged a site for the study. Together they designed and implemented the study.

Conclusion: This mentoring model demonstrates the praxis that facilitates solid research to add to the scientific knowledge to grow holistic nursing practice. This model has implications for innovative collaboration between Nursing service and education.