As an academic nurse, my research, practice, and teaching are inextricably linked and my teaching philosophy is guided by this reality. Nursing is a practice discipline that encompasses empirical and experiential learning. It is the study of human health and illness processes and as such, is a relational practice and science. Nursing is dynamic since health care knowledge is continually being generated. It is also situational to individual patients and their environments. Excellent nurses engage in life-long learning and most nursing knowledge only begins in the classroom.
My research covers a spectrum of complex populations, including chronic wounds, stroke, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes. The research program with complex health populations has a dual focus: continuity of care and evidence-based practice. Complex populations are groups characterized by multiple health challenges with one or more chronic conditions often requiring care in more than one health sector. The constellation of complexity, along with the number and type sector and condition transitions, puts these individuals at high risk for discontinuity. Care continuity involves 3 major inter-sectoral components, namely care activities, linkages and the balance of caregiving between individuals/families and professional providers. Evidence-based practice is an area of knowledge translation and currently a key health services focus. My research has been aimed at advancing and operationalizing this concept in health care settings, with a particular focus on nursing practice. Themes of continuity and knowledge translation are intertwined. Knowledge translation at the point of care directs care processes to ensure consistency based on 'best' practice. Organization of clinical care, along with a supporting health service delivery model based on evidence, is ultimately an intervention for continuity. It drives reorganization by providing a common script for "what ought to be done".