A Study of the Educational and Research Priorities of Registered Nurses in Rural Australia

Bell et al. (1997) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?


In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Australia - Australia

Why was it conducted at all?

The provision of high quality and accessible health care in rural Australia is an ongoing challenge (Humphreys & Rolley 1991). Attracting and retaining health professionals in rural areas has been acknowledged as a major problem in Australia. Far less is known about conditions of Australian rural nursing practice, work satisfaction, educational needs and staff retention factors in rural and remote area nursing practice. It has been suggested that rural nursing is a unique and challenging field that requires a nurse committed to high quality care at the individual, family and community level.

What was the objective?

to establish the research priorities of nurses working in rural and remote areas

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 8 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: Delphi round 1: participants were asked to isolate not more than five areas where continuing education may enhance or improve nursing practice in rural and remote areas, also asked to identify five questions or problems in which insufficient knowledge or uncertainties about the value or outcome of a particular nursing practice exist that would add value to remote area nursing and which would facilitate health promotion and disease prevention. Step 2: data cleaning: submissions with the different categories (research in which nursing should take a leading role in rural and remote areas, research which is of highest value to patients in rural and remote areas, research which is of highest value in facilitating health promotion and disease prevention, research which is of highest value in rural and remote area nurses' professional needs, and continuing education topics which are of highest value to rural and remote area nurses) cleaned. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to rate education and research priorities. Step 4: Delphi round 3: survey only with items that obtained a nominated median score of 5 or more, participants were asked to re-rate

Which stakeholders took part?

Nurses working in rural and remote settings: 16 participants were rural nurses in Delphi round 1, 22 participants were rural nurses in Delphi round 2.

How were stakeholders recruited?

The research participants were recruited from hospital and community settings in rural and remote areas across Australia. The Health Department in each State or Territory was contacted and asked to provide a list of registered nurses working in rural and remote settings. One hundred registered nurses were selected from tbe lists provided as being representative of a wide variety of practice settings. The research participants were considered, by way of their employment and experience, to be experts in their area of practice.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.