Nurse academics rewards and challenges: undertaking research and scholarly activity

This week’s EBN Twitter Chat on Wednesday 20th April between 8-9 pm (GMT) will be hosted by Professor Alison Twycross (@alitwy) who is editor of EBN and Dr Joanna Smith (@josmith175) one of the journal’s associate editors and will focus on the following question:

What promotes and what stops nurse academics undertaking research & scholarly activity?

Participating in the Twitter Chat

Participating in the Twitter chat requires a Twitter account; if you do not already have one you can create an account at Once you have an account contributing is straightforward, You can follow the discussion by searching links to #ebnjc, or contribute by creating and sending a tweet (tweets are text messages limited to 140 characters) to @EBNursingBMJ and add #ebnjc (the EBN Twitter chat hash tag) at the end of your tweet, this allows everyone taking part to view your tweets.

Tensions within professional-oriented departments can be a result of:

  • Organisational requirements such as increasing the number of nursing students to respond to commissioners needs to meet workforce demands;
  • Pressures to develop research capacity, and secure funding through competitive funding streams, particularly for research intense universities;
  • Professional & academic role conflicts, where professional identities may be more meaningful than an academic identity.

These tensions may be hindering nurse academic embracing research and scholarship. There is a growing body of evidence about the challenges, and rearwards, of nurses moving from professions practice to academia for example:

Smith, C. and Boyd, P., 2012. Becoming an academic: The reconstruction of identity by recently appointed lecturers in nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 49(1), pp.63-72.

Schulz, J., 2013. The impact of role conflict, role ambiguity and organizational climate on the job satisfaction of academic staff in research-intensive universities in the UK. Higher Education Research & Development, 32(3), pp.464-478.

Findlow, S., 2012. Higher education change and professional-academic identity in newly ‘academic’ disciplines: the case of nurse education. Higher Education, 63(1), pp.117-133.

Some things to think about before the Twitter Chat

  1. How do you define scholarly activity?
  2. Does your university have a workload model? If so, does this include time allocated for research and scholarly activity?
  3. How do you balance competing demands, student teaching and learning activities with research and scholarly activities?
  4. What are the expectations within your organization in relation to engaging in research and scholarly activity?
  5. What helps you engage in research and scholarly activity?
  6. What support is available to help you engage in research and scholarly activity?

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