Innovation in creating a strategic plan for research within an academic community

Kaitlin M. Best, Olga Jarrín, Alison M. Buttenheim, Kathryn H. Bowles, Martha A.Q. Curley

Publication Date: 07/01/2015

Strategic planning for research priorities in schools of nursing requires consensus building and engagement of key stakeholders. However, traditional approaches to strategic planning using work groups and committees sometimes result in low rates of faculty participation and fail to engage other important stakeholders. The purpose of this article is to describe the unique low-cost, high-yield processes that contributed to the rapid development of our school’s strategic research plan over the course of 1 month. Using the name recognition of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s annual basketball tournament, we were able to encourage high levels of participation by faculty, doctoral students, and postdoctoral fellows in not only developing a consensus around eight broad lines of inquiry but also offering tangible recommendations for accomplishing those goals within the next 5 years. Other schools of nursing seeking to evaluate their research enterprise and align their science with national priorities could easily replicate this approach.