University of Calgary

Nursing new initiatives in China

UToday HomeMay 17, 2012

Students in the Research Design class listening to Kathryn King-Shier (at head of table in black) while Theresa Green (far left in blue) listens in.Students in the Research Design class listening to Kathryn King-Shier (at head of table in black) while Theresa Green (far left in blue) listens in. Photo courtesy Kathryn King-Shier and Theresa GreenA 2009 trip to China to discuss nursing research is netting a larger collaboration for faculty members and, down the road, potential graduate students at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Nursing.

Professor Kathryn King-Shier, an expert in cardiovascular nursing, was invited almost two years ago to lecture at Jilin University in Changchun—a city of about 3.5 million in northeastern China.

“They are trying to expand the role of nurses in China and enhance nurses’ roles in developing evidence for practice,” she says.

In an effort to encourage collaboration and initiate projects, Jilin’s nursing dean, Dr. Libin An, invited King-Shier back for a week to teach research methods to Master of Nursing students and encouraged her to bring a colleague. Theresa Green, an assistant professor with expertise in stroke, joined King-Shier in teaching and presenting their programs of research to undergraduate students.

“The undergraduates were surprised that nurses would do the kind of research we do,” says Green, adding that while the graduate students certainly had a basic understanding of the kinds of studies in which nurses engage and value, they welcome every opportunity to learn more about the process. “We had them produce abstracts around a research question which they worked very hard at; they are not used to thinking through the research process in this way.”

Both researchers have since launched initiatives with their contemporaries at Jilin.

“The teaching was very important to us, but the research collaboration is a perfect scenario,” says King-Shier, who will begin a project looking at sex differences in the presentation of acute coronary syndrome and access to care.

Green will work on a similar study to one she currently leads in Canada on multi-ethnic patients with acute stroke.

Both will likely return to Changchun next year.

“We hope to one day have students join us here in Calgary,” King-Shier adds.

Jilin University’s School of Nursing was one of the first nursing schools in China and the first nursing school to offer graduate programs in nursing in China’s northeast.