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News Release

Ireland's first Centre for Nursing Research opens at UU

4th June 1998


The University of Ulster yesterday opened Ireland's first Nursing Research Centre.

Its Director is Professor Hugh McKenna.

"Our aim here at the Centre for Nursing Research is to undertake high-quality basic, strategic and applied research, as well as to investigate the effectiveness of how the health service organisations currently deliver nursing and health care," he said

With 25 research-active staff of the highest international calibre, plus 54 PhD students, the Centre will become Ireland's intellectual and policy powerhouse for the advancement of knowledge and best practice in nursing and related health issues.

The opening ceremony was performed by Dr Anne Marie Rafferty, Director of the Centre for Policy in Nursing Research, who delivered the Inaugural Mona Grey History of Nursing Endowment Lecture.

Mona Grey was Chief Nursing Officer for Northern Ireland from 1960 until she retired in 1975.

The ceremony was attended by 150 key nurse practitioners and academics from Northern Ireland and beyond, including Dr Betty Kershaw of the RCN. The distinguished audience gave Mona Grey, now 88, a standing ovation in recognition of her work, and her contribution in not only endowing a lecture series, but in raising additional sponsorship for the series from The Wellcome Trust, The TBF Thompson Charitable Trust, and the Royal National Pension Fund for Nurses (UK).

The Centre for Nursing Research has five specialist research teams in

Primary Care: Chronic Illness: Learning Disability: Telematics: Mental Health:

The new Centre for Nursing Research will carry on the bulk of Nursing research that takes place in Northern Ireland. The Centre has extensive research links with all Northern Ireland's area Health Boards, as well as the Department of Health in Dublin, with Dublin's Rotunda Hospital, and its staff are involved in cross border primary care research.

There are presently 54 research students undertaking PhDs or MPhils: each working within one of Northern Ireland's four health boards, undertaking high calibre research under the supervision of the University's professorial staff.

The Centre for Nursing Research will include inputs from a wide range of disciplines, including the biological, physical and social sciences, as well as the humanities. Equally, staff associated with the centre will be engaged in multidisciplinary research with established international and international research facilities, and has recently formed an alliance with the Royal College of Nursing Institute, whose head, Professor Alison Kitson, was among the first cohort of nurses to graduate from the University of Ulster after it began delivering degree level nursing education.

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