Each year, the Office of Research and External Relations welcomes nursing student applications to the Undergraduate Student Summer Research Program. This program gives undergraduate nursing students the chance to explore their research interests and experience the research process first hand by working on projects supervised by a Bloomberg Nursing researcher.
With funding from the University of Toronto Life Sciences Committee, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Bertha Rosenstadt Health Research Fund, students gain real hands-on research experience. Undergraduate students Aline Chhun and Yonda Lai had the opportunity to work with Lianne Jeffs, Assistant Professor (Status) at Bloomberg Nursing over the summer of 2013. Their collaboration on a project investigating nurses and managers’ perspectives associated with the implementation of unit-specific nursing performance dashboards, has recently resulted in a manuscript that has been published by the Journal of Nursing Care Quality.
“This program is a great opportunity for undergraduate students to engage in research,” says Jeffs. “Their knowledge, experience and willingness to learn helps contribute to their academic success, and exposes them to new facets of nursing research outside the clinical education in the BScN program.”
Competition for the research program is fierce each summer, with students needing to meet minimum GPA and availability requirements. This year, the Research Office received over 50 applications – a record high – clearly showing that students see this program as a valuable complement to their nursing education. “This program is key to the ongoing success of our research excellence,” Kelly Metcalfe, Interim Associate Dean, Research. “We’ve had students from this program move forward in their academic careers, equipped with the tools and knowledge to engage in the broader research discussions in nursing research.”