This is a chronological summary - oldest first.

As part of a Diploma in Professional Studies, I was involved in a group project investigating the factors which influence nurses undertaking Higher Education . This involved a questionnaire, including an attitude scale, to a convenience sample (n=84) of nurses in one college. The importance of students obtaining time off from work to undertake their studies was found to be more important than whether the employer paid the course fees. A report of this study was published as:

Ward, R. 1990. Influencing attitudes among nurses taking higher education. Senior Nurse. 10(3) 24-27

As part of my BSc(Hons) course I undertook an observational study of nurse patient interaction in an Accident and Emergency department waiting room . This involved the video recording of non-verbal behaviours. An attempt was made to use grounded theory in the analysis of the data. A key finding was the observation of territorial behaviours by nurses on the staff of the department. A short report of this study was published as:

Ward, R. 1990. Meeting Points. Nursing Times. 86(22) 58-60

To obtain the Honours component of the degree I undertook a survey of nurse staffing levels and skillmix in all the Accident and Emergency Departments in one region . Data was collected on qualifications and roles of 186 nurses of various grades, and departmental organisation. Recommendations were made for calculation of staffing levels and further areas of study. A short report of this study was published as:

Ward, R. 1992. Nurse Staffing levels and Skill Mix in Accident and Emergency Departments. Nursing Practice . 6(1) 18-23

As part of my Post Graduate Diploma in Education for Health Care Professionals I undertook a situational analysis, based on Skillbeck's methods, of the educational needs within one hospital department. Following this study a short course was developed and delivered. This study has not been published, however much of the work involved contributed to another article:

Ward, R. 1993 Accident and Emergency as a clinical learning environment. Accident and Emergency Nursing 1, 92-97.

Also during this course I become interested in Facet Theory as an alternative research paradigm , and attempted to show how this could be used to provided a systematic method to study the multidimensional nature of nursing. Some of my thoughts on the potential benefits of the method are described in:

Ward, R. 1993 The search for meanings in nursing: could Facet theory be a way forward? Journal of Advanced Nursing 18, 549- 557.

My present research interests lie in the areas of Information technology and nursing. More specifically in the way in which information technology is changing nursing practice and the use of information technology in nurse education. Specific interests relate to the use of Networked systems and the Internet in health care education.

I have carried out a small study into the potential use of interactive video in health care education, and written a report on this for the Southampton College of Nursing.

I have also completed my dissertation which enabled me to convert my PGDipEd into an MA Ed. "The teaching of Information Management and Technology to pre-registration nursing students"


Much of my current research and consultancy revolves around the implementation of Information for Health for the NHS & the implications for nurses and other health professionals. In addition I have interests in the use of technological media in teaching and learning and the accessibility of material for evidence based practice.

In 1997-98 in conjunction with Paula Procter & Carol Cooper, under the banner of the CTI we delivered a series of study days for teachers of nursing & midwifery entitled "Demystifying the internet". In 1999 we looked at the use of powerpoint in teaching and learning for the same target groups. A report was published as: Nursing Standard On-Line NOVEMBER 18/VOLUME 13/ NUMBER 09/1998 available from; /vol13-09/ol-art.htm

Related presentations about the Internet and it's uses in healthcare and health care education have been undertaken for Trent NHS, Practice Nurses, and the BCS NSG

During 1998 I carried out a survey sent to local trusts & health authorities re: informatics needs of student nurses and midwives. This was published in I T I N 10(3) p 16-20 also available at;

I was also a member of a team (led by SCHARR) which was awarded a contract by NHS Executive for Education & Training in security for NHS staff, and Cauldicott Guardians.

I have also produced a report based on the access stats for the Nursing & Health Care Resources site - which under consideration by publishers

I have also been conducting an On-nline survey of UK Nurses & Midwives needs from an internet service. This is available at: and the initial results can be viewed at . Papers based on the survey were given at HC2000 & NI2000 in New Zealand

Since 2000 part of my work has been as the project manager for NMAP The UK's gateway to high quality Internet resources for Nurses, Midwives and Allied Professionsand a range of small projects and research papers.

The project has established a gateway of Internet resources, against established and published criteria, for this user population, available on the World Wide Web since spring 2001 at:,

The project has been awarded funding for 2 years starting from the first of August 2000 by JISC, the Joint Information Systems Committee of HEFCE, through the Resource Discovery Network (RDN). Since extended and now part of the BIOME hub funding

NMAP works in conjunction with OMNI and will form part of the BIOME service at, serving the UK's learning, research and professional communities in the health and life sciences.

I acted as project manager for NMAP on a part time basis from 2000-2005, and still work with the team & will be presenting some work related to this at WWW2006

Following my move from the University of Sheffield to the University of the West of England in 2003, I've been involved in various projects including blogging via Informaticopia and various conferences (see Health Informatics Blogs Portal), developing elearning courses, and studying the factors which influence the use of IT by students and practitioners within healthcare, several of which are listed on the project table of the UWE HSC Research Programme Centre for learning and workforce research - elearning and informatics pages.

Getting EU packs online

A project for the Faculty of Health & Social Care UWE to take existing packs given to adult nursing students to achieve "EU outcomes" in child, maternity and mental health, and put them online in a more interactive format. Started Sept 2004 - scheduled to "Go Live" Sept 2006. Currently completing Maternity & Mental Health, field testing & evaluating Child. Issues remaining concerning copyright, user registration & tracking systems & SENDA compliance.


A group project funded by HSC academic grant to examine the support needs of students on placement and devise mechanisms to help with these electronically. Project suspended due to other developments in the faculty. See Paper written & submitted to Nurse Education Today. Presentation paper on this project as been accepted for NI2006, Korea

ITASH - Information Technology Attitude Scales for Health -

Funded by School of Adult Nursing Staff Development Fund & involving a team of researchers from various professions and research paradigms, this project aims to develop, test and retest for validity and unidimensionality an attitude scale measuring healthcare staff attitudes to IT. Now completed. Report published. Paper given at Medinfo 2007, Methodology paper in Press with Nurse Researcher, results paper being written.

IT Attitudes comprehensive literature review

Funded by the Faculty of Health and Social Care Small Grants Programme and involving several academic & library staff, this project is conducting a comprehensive search of research in this field over the last five years, with the aim of producing a report highlighting key trends and findings. - Now completed, report published, paper submitted to Health Information and Libraries Journal.

JISC EMERGE Community of Practice for Users & Innovation Research

see &

Scoping e-learning ; use and development in Health Sciences and Practice

Funded by HEA Health Sciences and Practice Centre (2006-2008) see

For more up to date info see Current projects

I can be contacted

Page Created: 1996

Page last updated: 23.3.09