Clinical nurse leaders to speak up on fundamental care

Researchers from Flinders University’s Caring Futures Institute are investigating how clinical nursing leaders are providing high quality fundamental care.

Researchers Dr Tiffany Conroy, Dr Rebecca Feo and Ms Alexandra Mudd are preparing to recruit clinical nurse leaders from across Australia to take part in the research and share their experiences.

The expected outcome is the development of a resource to assist clinical nurse leaders to promote fundamental care.

The Nurses Memorial Foundation of South Australia have provided $30,000 to the study.

The research project draws on the values of the International Learning Collaborative, a global network working towards the improvement of the delivery of fundamental care in health systems.

The ILC is headed by Caring Futures Institute Foundational Director Professor Alison Kitson and featuring steering committee members from Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, the UK, US, and Sweden.

Fundamental care itself is the actions on the part of a nurse that respect and focus on a person’s essential needs to ensure their physical and psychosocial wellbeing.

These needs are met by developing a positive and trusting relationship with the person being cared for as well as their family and carers and integrating the different elements of their care.

The health sector has experienced multiple deficits in fundamental care over the past 20 years, not only in Australia, but internationally.  Examples include the shocking abuse of older people at Oakden nursing home that came to light in 2017 and the current evidence before the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Alexandra Mudd says previous research has found that clinical nurse leaders have a significant impact upon the experiences of those receiving care within their clinical area.

“Consequently, understanding their experiences of facilitating fundamental care is crucial. To date, there are no evidenced-based resources available to clinical nurse leaders to help them promote fundamental care within their clinical area,” she says.

“This new project will explore clinical nurse leaders’ experiences and develop a resource to assist clinical nurse leaders promote high-quality fundamental care.

“We are hoping that by creating this kind of practical resource that we can really help raise standards in fundamental care to bring about meaningful benefits to consumers.”

For more information on the clinical nurse leaders research click here or contact Tiffany Conroy, Flinders University, (08) 8201 3246,, Rebecca Feo: or Alexandra Mudd:

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