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Rich fare at research conference.

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The Nursing Research Section's (NRS) biennial conference "Opening Doors: Celebrating Nursing Research", in Wellington in November, enabled more than 80 nurses from around New Zealand to come together to showcase their research. The two-day conference was deemed a resounding success by those who took full advantage of the lively collegial interaction and knowledge-sharing.

The conference was formally opened by Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast who recalled her own experiences as a nurse and midwife.

The first keynote address was delivered by senior research fellow at the University of Auckland's Clinical Trials Research Unit, Andrew Jull, who gave a thought-provoking presentation titled "Opening Doors--Some [En]lightening Thoughts". Jull questioned whether nursing research really exists as an independent field or whether all research in the area is health research, including that which purports to be medical research. He talked from his own experience as a successful researcher and lessons learned from his career. He also raised the question as to whether evidence can ever trump prior belief, or whether it is opinion that trumps evidence every time.

Dean of the Whitereia Community Polytechnic health faculty and current Nursing Council chair, Margaret Southwick, presented an interesting keynote address called "Remind Me. What is the password?" in which she captured the evolution of bureaucracy and its impact on groups through requisite boundaries and rules. Southwick's wise words cautioned all nurses to beware of using all their energy and attention on process, to the point where innovation and genuine nursing ability are sidelined.

Professor of nursing practice at Massey University, Jenny Carryer, talked about her work in "Conducting longitudinal research on long-term condition management". She spoke of the primary health care research she is working on and the difficulties gaining useful surveyed information from practice nurses, general practitioners and patients.

Four "STAR" (Strategy to Advance Research) PhD scholars--Grace Wong, Gael Nearns, Helen Harcombe and Virginia Jones--presented their research progress in a plenary session and individually. Delegates enjoyed the diversity of topics covered.

The final session was a workshop on randomised controlled trials, by Jane Koziol-McLain of the Interdisciplinary Trauma Research Unit and School of Health Care Practice at the Auckland University of Technology. The workshop was based on one of Koziol-McLain's recent projects: the WISE study for women and children, which is testing the efficacy of health care site-based domestic violence screening.

Overall, 33 abstracts and seven posters were presented. Topics ranged from "Opening doors for Maori and Pacific students" to "An ethnographic phenomenology which opens new doors in children's worlds". All abstracts can be viewed on the NRS website at http://www.nzno.org.nz/ groups/sections/nursing_research_.

Auckland University of Technology joint nursing heads, Liz Smythe and Deb Spence, were awarded best presenters for their hermeneutic literature review. Louise Rummel from Manukau Institute of Technology won best poster presentation for "A simulated Health Promotional Learning Activity".

One of the highlights of the conference was the launch of Merian Litchfield's history of the NRS: To Advance Health Care: the Origins of Nursing Research in New Zealand. Since its inception in 1976, the NRS has continued to make a vital contribution to NZNO's role in professional advancement. With more than 320 members, the section remains strong in its endeavour to provide a significant forum for nursing research in New Zealand.

One of the new committee's first tasks will be to respond to the NZNO consultation document on the future development of national sections and colleges. NRS members will be surveyed about this early next year.

Report by organising committee member Dianne Marshall
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Title Annotation:SECTION/COLLEGE NEWS; Nursing Research Section
Author:Marshall, Dianne
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Article Type:Conference news
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Dec 1, 2009
Words:589
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