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Research the key to unlocking better nursing and midwifery care

For the first time in Australia, people will have the opportunity to directly impact the quality of care they receive from nurses and midwives through the establishment of a dedicated research foundation.

The Rosemary Bryant Foundation is being launched today by Dr Rosemary Bryant AO, Australia’s first Commonwealth Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer, at the 2018 South Australian Nursing and Midwifery Research Symposium at SAHMRI.

The national research funding body, the first of its kind set up in Australia, is solely dedicated to supporting projects that will improve nursing and midwifery practice across all health settings. The Foundation will work closely with industry as well as the research community including the University of South Australia’s Rosemary Bryant AO Research Centre, which is home to world-class nursing and midwifery researchers.

The Foundation is named in honour of Dr Rosemary Bryant AO who is a renowned South Australian champion of the nursing profession. Dr Bryant has also been appointed as inaugural Chair of the Foundation.

“I am incredibly humbled that my name is associated with Australia’s first nursing and midwifery research foundation—I see this being integral to the translation of new research discoveries into practice to better equip nurses and midwives to provide the best possible care for the community,” Dr Bryant says.

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (SA Branch) Chief Executive Officer/Secretary Adjunct Associate Professor Dabars AM who represents more than 20,000 nurses, midwives and personal care assistants in South Australia explains evidence is crucial to achieving change.

“Research is key to ensuring that nurses and midwives, along with other health care professionals, can make informed decisions so the best health outcomes for the community can be achieved.

“With over 360,000 nurses and midwives in Australia, they are uniquely positioned to have a profound impact on the health and wellbeing of everyone they provide care to,” she says.

Rebecca Badcock, Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery at the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network agrees.

“Nurses and midwives work in every type of health setting, in widely dispersed geographical locations and in every kind of clinical practice area.

“Through the Foundation, we are able to fund nursing and midwifery research that is relevant to practice that can be taken to the bedside. This will give nurses and midwives the confidence that the care they are providing is evidence-based,” Ms Badcock says.

Despite the many advances in best practice care, it is important the profession continues to develop and grow into the future.

“Thanks to nursing and midwifery research, we have come a long from the days of applying vegemite to bedsores, performing backrubs with methylated spirits and treating nausea with Coca Cola syrup,” Dr Bryant says.

The establishment of Rosemary Bryant Foundation is vital to ensuring a constant focus on progressing nursing and midwifery care.

“By supporting the Foundation, the community can now recognise the tireless commitment that nurses and midwives provide every day to keep us well,” says Dr Bryant.

“We have a responsibility to ensure the community has access to the best nursing and midwifery care possible. Evidence in health care is vital – not only in clinical practice but also to policy, management and, critically, systems development and funding.

“We cannot rest on our laurels. This Foundation will ensure further research can be funded to accelerate our learnings and improve best-practice care,” she says.

Applications for funding from Rosemary Bryant Foundation will be reviewed by a Grants Committee of leading research and industry experts.

People can learn more and support the Foundation by visiting www.rbf.org.au or by emailing info@rbf.org.au

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