Donor-funded grant recipient to examine nurse resilience

Inaugural recipient of Early Career Researcher Grant to develop important tool to support nurses on the front line.

3 Oct 2022

Health care professional in surgical attire 

At St John of God Subiaco Hospital’s annual Research Week in August, Dr Alannah Cooper (inset) was announced as the inaugural recipient of the $15,000 St John of God Foundation Early Career Researcher (ECR) Grant. Dr Cooper will use the grant to develop a tool to measure nurse resilience.

As witnessed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing professionals can be prone to burn out and exhaustion. High levels of burnout and turnover in nurses can also negatively impact patient care and have significant cost for health care organisations.  

Nurse resilience has been emphasised as a factor that may help to both retain nurses and ensure safer patient care. However, no specific measure of nurse resilience currently exists, and previous research in this area has underestimated the complexity of nurse resilience and the external factors that can affect it. Dr Cooper anticipates that the newly-developed instrument will provide a more complete measure of nurse resilience, one that considers both the external and internal factors. 

St John of God Health Care Dr Alannah Cooper standing in front of banner"By drawing on the research evidence, we will create a profession-specific measure of resilience that can help us to understand what type of interventions may help to maintain nurse resilience in different populations of nurses,” said Dr Cooper.

Dr Cooper hopes that the instrument will contribute to the implementation of appropriate interventions, to ultimately reduce nurse turnover and support safer patient care.  

“There is strong evidence that patient and nurse satisfaction are strongly correlated," she said. 

“Retaining nurses in the profession is essential to providing high quality patient care.”

Dr Cooper also expressed her thanks to the community of donors who have made the research grants possible. 

“The support provided by donors is invaluable and without it we would not be able to continue to progress our research and improve patient care. I would like to thank those that have supported research at St John of God Health Care - your contributions lead to better patient care and health care outcomes and enable us to continue to strive for excellence.”

The ECR Grant is one of two grants offered to hospital caregivers as part of a new donor-funded Research Grants program, launched earlier this year by St John of God Foundation in partnership with St John of God Subiaco Hospital.

The grants are designed to further support and grow St John of God Subiaco Hospital’s world class clinician-led research, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care, treatment and health care outcomes through translatable research. 

“The ECR grant encourages, supports and develops a researcher at the beginning of their research journey,” said St John of God Foundation CEO, Bianca Pietralla.  

“It’s critical we invest in and nurture our best and brightest research talent within Western Australia, who are dedicated to excellence and to ensuring that a tangible impact is made in Western Australia and potentially global health practices, through research translation.”

For more information on the grants, please contact Taryn Quartermaine, Research Operations Manager, St John of God Subiaco Hospital on (08) 6465 2750 or email [email protected].

To donate in support of the grants, please contact the St John of God Foundation team on 1800 281 288 or email [email protected]