Whilst Professor Alison Tierney was in Adelaide in May, we sat down with her for a one on one discussion about her experiences and career in Nursing. Alison’s contributions to nursing research and its development are recognised in her conferment as a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing (UK); in her appointment as a member of the Nursing Panel for the UK’s 2001 Research Assessment Exercise; in being made a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 2002; and in the award of several honorary degrees in recent years. She just recently completed a nine year period as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Advanced Nursing.
Can you tell our readers why you are currently in Adelaide?
I am in Adelaide for a short visit as part of my Adjunct Professor appointment with the School of Nursing. This appointment allows me to maintain my connection with the School, having been the Head of the-then Department of Clinical Nursing for a 3-year period from 2001 to 2005. While I am in Adelaide this time, I will be in discussions with Professor Alison Kitson and colleagues about the Fundamentals of Care Research and Development program which is in fairly early stages of development.
This is an interesting program for me as it connects back to my involvement early in my career with the Roper, Logan and Tierney Model for Nursing. This model was one of the early attempts to develop a nursing framework for patient-centred care, and it formed the basis of a classic nursing textbook.
The book, ‘The Elements of Nursing’, was first published in 1980. Since then, it has been translated into approximately 15 different languages and has been used worldwide in the education of undergraduate nursing students.
I am excited about the current work here in Adelaide around Fundamentals of Care as it makes an effort to address the ongoing concerns about patient dissatisfaction with the fundamental aspects of their care. This time, however, the work is going beyond conceptualisation into research and then into practice development programs to improve patient care.
Any advice to an early researcher?
The secret to a successful research career is to be focused and to keep real!