This project addresses 2 complex issues: the lack of research knowledge among RNs and poor research alliance between hospitals and HEIs. The profile of research in nursing will be raised by increasing both research capacity and capability. Through individual Workpackages (WPs) & outputs, 5 objectives will be addressed: 1. to build infrastructure with research leadership that will support a research active environment (WP1 - analysing nursing work environment and enablers/barriers in facilitating nurses to do research, WP2 - establishing nursing research groups/units; identifying research mentors within the hospitals and linked researchers at HEI, suggesting the online material content); 2. to improve access to research training and support opportunities (WP 3, 4, 5 - online learning programme); 3. to identify research priorities in practice and link in with HEI to address them jointly (WP2); 4. to encourage intra-disciplinary, multi-disciplinary & inter-agency research collaborations (WP2; research group establishment); 5. To raise the profile of research conducted by nurses to internal and external organisations (WP 2, 6: encouraging nurses to submit abstracts to conferences and improve research writing skills).

Within the ProCare project RN4CAST research in Slovenia is being conducted

RN4CAST is one of the largest nursing workforce surveys ever conducted in over 30 countries in Europe and beyond, helping to improve the accuracy of forecasting models and create new approaches to more effective management of nursing resources in Europe and the world (Aiken et al., 2017). The results of the survey have made a tremendous contribution to improving the health of European citizens, with an emphasis on the number and education of nurses, working conditions in nursing, work performance and patient safety (Papastavrou & Andreou, 2016). In fact, current models of human resource planning in nursing care are unreliable and inefficient because they only take into account the scope of work but neglect the effects on the quality of patient care. The RN4CAST examines how the organizational characteristics of inpatient healthcare affect nursing recruitment, retention of nurses in workplaces, and patient outcomes. The findings to date also indicate, for example, that an increase in the workload of nurses in one patient increases the likelihood of a patient dying within 30 days of admission by 7%, and that every 10% increase in the number of nursing graduates is associated with a 7% decrease in this probability ( Aiken, et al., 2014). Aiken et al. (2012) states that with each additional patient per nurse, they are more likely to report poor quality of care and to assess patient safety as poor or in decline. In 2009-2010, research was first started in 12 European countries, since then several countries have repeated the survey and new national studies have been carried out (Sermeus & Aiken, n.d.). Unfortunately, Slovenia was not included. We feel the latter as a negative consequence, as we face a large outflow of nursing staff who are overworked and underpaid in work settings. As we did not carry out an assessment of the nursing staff, we did not take any measures to prevent fluctuation.

The purpose of the research, which we began to prepare in early 2019 and started in early 2020, is to investigate the links between the work environment of nursing practice and the specific outcomes of patients in the medical and surgical wards at Slovenian general hospitals. The research is being conducted to create a clear picture of the relationship between nursing staffing planning and patient safety.

The management of Slovenian General Hospitals and University Clinical Centers received an invitation to participate. Eight general hospitals and both clinical centers decided to participate. A quantitative exploratory cross-sectional research method was used. Data for this survey are collected from 4 sources: data from nurses and data about patients' views on care recently received at the hospital are collected using validated structured questionnaires, the minimum set of hospital data will be obtained from the official records of the National Institute of Public Health and information about the health care facility from the management of those facilities.

We would like to thank all those who are and will still take valuable time to participate in this research.