The Governor-General, Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO, will officially launch the first National Centre of Research Excellence in Nursing Interventions for Hospitalised Patients at Griffith University’s South Bank campus tomorrow(April 20).

With $2.5 million funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council and an initial five-year program of research focus on skin integrity and symptom management, investigators at the centre are building an unprecedented body of evidence to inform nursing practices into the future.

“Instead of saying we know we make a difference to patient care, let’s find the evidence to show that nursing practices do make a difference to patient care, and use this evidence to instigate changes to health policy,” Professor Wendy Chaboyer (pictured), Director of the Centre of Research Excellence (NCREN), said.

“We must ask what are the risks involved and study the connection between nursing practices and patient outcomes.”

Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce will unveil a plaque at the Queensland College of Art on Friday morning to mark the opening of the research centre, the first of its kind in Australia.

NCREN is partnered with the Gold Coast, Princess Alexandra and Royal Brisbane and Women’s hospitals in Queensland’s southeast corner to undertake the research.

“Our partnerships are already extending to include hospitals such as the Prince Charles and the Royal Children’s.”

Professor Chaboyer says the research is in step with the evolving healthcare landscape where nurses are increasingly accountable for the care they provide, and their impacts and contributions are analysed and measured as safety mechanisms.

“We completely respect that delivery of care is the prime focus of hospital staff,” Professor Chaboyer said. “We possibly wouldn’t research the right questions without our partnerships with staff on the wards. Ultimately, we want what we’re doing to be meaningful to the clinicians.

“Part of our duty is to train the next generation of clinical researchers in the hospitals. Being embedded in the hospitals allows us to help the hospitals become academic health centres.”

The research projects started after the NHMRC announced the opening of the centre in late 2010, and currently range from screening for delirium in the ICU to how often an IV catheter should be changed to the transfer of seriously injured patients from rural medical centres to metropolitan hospitals.

Ms Bryce will be joined by Griffith University Chancellor Leneen Forde, Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor and Pro Vice Chancellor (Health) Professor Allan Cripps for the launch at 9.45am.

The formalities take place at the Webb Centre, Level 7 Function Space, QCA, 226 Grey Street, Brisbane.