Barriers and enablers for the Australian oncology nurse practitioner to engage in research in and on practice : a descriptive phenomenological study

  • Louise Nicholson

Student thesis: Professional Doctorate


Background: There is limited evidence of research undertaken in and on practice by Australian oncology NPs. Research is important to support the NP role in the cancer care setting and to develop the NP role to its full potential.
Aim: The aims of the study were to explore the perceptions and experiences of undertaking research in and on practice and the barriers and enablers to undertaking research in practice as described by Australian oncology NPs.
Methods: A Husserlian phenomenological approach underpinned the framework of the study with descriptive in-depth interviewing as the method of data collection. Thematic analysis was undertaken using Colaizzi (1978) phenomenological analysis.
Findings: Developing and fostering research, balancing clinical practice and research and organisational support were the key themes described by the fourteen (n=14) participants in the study and are representative of the fundamental structure of the phenomenon under study. Discussion: The study presented in this thesis is one of the first to explore Australian oncology NPs undertaking research in and on practice, in particular the barriers and enablers to undertaking research. The participants as individuals appeared to accept the barriers to undertaking research. There was no evidence in the data to support the participants had sought solutions to address the barriers. Conclusion: Research is important to support the NP role within the cancer care setting and the role’s long term sustainability in cancer care. The findings of the study highlight potential strategies for further development to strengthen research in practice. The need for professional discussions concerning education, policy and practice are needed to identify potential solutions to the issues raised through this research and to support research in practice for the Australian oncology NP. Consultation at an organisational level to review current oncology nurse practitioner roles to facilitate research in practice in addition with collaboration between universities and health care settings may further support research in nursing.
Date of Award2019
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJane Frost (Supervisor), Maggie Jamieson (Supervisor), Laurie Grealish (Supervisor), Gylo Hercelinskyj (Supervisor), John Rolley (Supervisor) & Basseer Jeeawody (Supervisor)

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