Establishing Priorities for Research in Education Within One College of Nursing and Midwifery

Sleep et al. (1995) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

education for nursing and midwifery

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - United Kingdom

Why was it conducted at all?

The educational provision for nurses and midwives is currently undergoing immense change. These innovations encompass the organizational structure, the process of delivery and the projected outcomes for professional education within the UK. There is, however, a dearth of published research evidence designed to evaluate these educational changes. Nevertheless, anecdotal evidence suggests that within individual institutions small-scale, educationally focused research is currently being conducted. These are usually 'one off' studies which address questions of personal interest to individual researchers rather than issues of importance to the organization or to the professions as a whole. The net result is a diverse research portfolio which, by its very nature, is wasteful in terms of lost opportunity to commission larger-scale research which might influence educational practice and in failing to direct effectively the energies and skills of researchers.

What was the objective?

to identify research questions regarding nursing and midwifery education within one institution, to assist educators to formulate an agenda which directs their research efforts towards issues of primary importance to the organization and to the profession, and to determine research priorities which could form the basis of a core program of educational research within one college of nursing and midwifery

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 10 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

5 months

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 list a maximum of 5 burning issues which they considered to be priorities for educational research within the Berkshire College, also asked to give reason why they considered the issue to be of importance, 213 issues submitted. Step 2: data processing: content analysis. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to rate items and asked to rank top 3 questions. Step 4: Delphi round 3: 28 high priority questions, participants were asked to re-rate and re-rank questions. Step 5: Delphi round 4: participants were asked to re-rate and re-rank questions

Which stakeholders took part?

Teaching staff of one college of nursing and midwifery. Delphi round 1: 56 participants. Delphi round 2: 47 participants. Delphi round 3: 45 participants. Delphi round 4: 45 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

All teaching staff employed within the Berkshire College of Nursing and Midwifery were invited to participate.

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.