In contemporary healthcare, nurses need to be users and generators of evidence to underpin their practice. As users of evidence they need to be able to locate evidence and critically appraise it. As generators of evidence nurses need to be able to research their own practice and translate those findings into practice. The overall aim of this project is to raise the profile of research in nursing by increasing both research capacity and capability and to enhance cooperation between higher education institution and hospitals. This has the ultimate aim to provide care to patients and families consistent with the best available evidence thereby improving patient outcomes (CMFT 2009). This project addresses two complex issues: the lack of research knowledge among RNs and poor research alliance between hospitals and HEIs. The project consortium consists of hospitals and HEIs that will address these issues jointly. The profile of research in nursing will be raised by increasing both research capacity and capability. Nursing research knowledge alliance will be encouraged through 5 identified objectives:

1. to build infrastructure with research leadership that will support a research active environment (analysing nursing work environment and enablers/barriers in facilitating nurses to do research, establishing nursing research groups/units; identifying research mentors within the hospitals and linked researchers at HEI);
2. to improve access to research training and support opportunities (developing online learning programme on nursing research);
3. to identify research priorities in practice and link in with HEI to address them jointly
4. to encourage intra-disciplinary, multi-disciplinary & inter-agency research collaborations (research group establishment; journal clubs);
5. to raise the profile of research conducted by nurses to internal and external organisations (encouraging nurses to submit abstracts to conferences, journals and improve research writing skills.

This project addresses an important EU issue, t.i. poor links between HEIs and hospitals. HEIs are perceived as theoretical institutions that do not understand practice. As a rule, the relationship is based on necessity and there is no search for opportunities for joint development. Employees, studying at the master or PhD level, claim that they receive very little support for research work in the hospitals that employ them. It is up to HEIs and hospitals to look for suitable approaches to forge research alliances in order to solve challenges, implement changes and ultimately, improve patients outcomes.

In contemporary healthcare, nurses need to be users and generators of evidence to underpin their practice. As users of evidence they need to be able to locate evidence and critically appraise it. As generators of evidence nurses need to be able to research their own practice and translate those findings into practice. The overall aim of this project is to raise the profile of research in nursing by increasing both research capacity and capability and to enhance cooperation between higher education institution (HEIs) and hospitals. This has the ultimate aim to provide care to patients and families consistent with the best available evidence thereby improving patient outcomes (CMFT 2015).

2011 EU document on the Modernisation Agenda for Higher Education states that Europe needs experts and researchers, adequate quality higher education structures that respond to society needs and international cooperation to share and combine knowledge and experiences. Such connection between education, research and business sector, on which this project is built, is of crucial importance to provide long-term holistic solutions in society.

Education and Training 2020 states that a systematic cooperation is needed between HEIs and labour market to meet the requirements of today’s working world. Two ET 2020 objectives, that this project addresses as well, are to improve the quality and efficiency of education and training and to enhance creativity and innovation at all levels of education and training.

Key needs/challenges addressed by this project:
1. poor links between HEIs and hospitals - the need to enhance cooperation between higher education institution (HEIs) and hospitals and to facilitate exchange, flow & co-creation of knowledge
2. the need to introduce the innovative teaching & learning through new technologies - open learning resources
3. the need to improve nursing research and evidence based knowledge among nurses
4. the need for nurses to be users and generators of evidence to underpin their practice
5. missing structural conditions in hospitals to implement research, use of of evidence based practice (EBP) and continuing education - the need to increase nurses research capacity and capability