Aim: To identify research priorities for nursing and midwifery in the Southern Health Board area in Ireland for the immediate and long term.
Method: Ten focus groups were conducted over a 2-month period with 70 nurses and midwives working in clinical, managerial and educational roles participating. Based on focus group findings and a literature review a multi-item Likert type questionnaire was constructed and administered to 520 nurses and midwives (response rate 95% n = 494).
Results: Research priorities were identified as: (1) impact of staff shortages on retention of RNs/RM's (80%); (2) quality of life of chronically ill patients (76%); (3) stress and bullying in the workplace (76%); (4) assessment and management of pain (75%); (5) skill mix and staff burnout (73%); (6) cardio-pulmonary resuscitation decision making (72%); (7) coordination of care between hospital and primary care settings (69%); (8) medication errors (67%); and (9) promoting healthy lifestyles (64%). Respondents also indicated that these priorities warranted immediate attention. Implications for practice include the need for: (1) emphasis on quality pain control; (2) recognition and exploration of the ethical issues relating to resuscitation; and (3) management of the context within which clinical care is given.