Booster for a young science

We all benefit from applied nursing research. The relatively young science provides research results that promote health care and nursing on an evidence-based basis and thus raise and ensure the quality of care even more. This vision is also fulfilled by the research work in the new Competence Center for Applied Nursing Research headed by Elisabeth Haslinger-Baumann. It was opened in September 2019 in the presence of numerous experts from the healthcare sector.

Our life expectancy is increasing, as is the need for health and nursing services, as the figures also show: Statistics Austria estimates that 10.4% of Austria’s gross domestic product went into running health expenditures in 2019. That is more than 41 billion euros. This clearly underpins the importance of applied nursing research. "In the interests of research for the common good, we are bundling all of our specialist and interdisciplinary forces in the Competence Center for Applied Nursing Research," said the Director, Elisabeth Haslinger-Baumann, at the opening. With this new youngest member in the group, the number of FH Campus Wien Competence Centers has increased to nine.

"We found each other."

The Competence Center aims to make a substantial contribution to high-quality, evidence-based health and nursing care in four research fields. Elisabeth Haslinger-Baumann knows from experience that interdisciplinarity is an essential cornerstone: "The research field Active and Assisted Living (AAL) moves at the interface of Applied Nursing Science, Health Sciences and Engineering." It is about the development of technical aids that are intended to give older people in particular a long and as independent life as possible within their own four walls. "The subject-specific perspectives inspire each other and allow us to develop completely new approaches. We found each other," said Elisabeth-Haslinger Baumann, describing the interdisciplinary spirit. Together, for example, the intelligent Drink Smart cup was developed up to market proximity. The Competence Center supported the research projects DEA Lebensfreude App (Zest for Life) for relatives of people with dementia and ReMIND, in which a socially assistive robot was configured, which is part of the degree program Health Assisting Engineering. The currently most comprehensive interdisciplinary project in the Competence Center is the development of the software application 24h QuAALity. This is intended to support 24-hour caregivers in providing high quality care for their clients.

Strengthening health research for the good of us all

"The research results should provide a tool for health policy decisions," said Elisabeth Haslinger-Baumann, specifying the goals of the Competence Center. An example of this from the research field Evaluation Research in Health Care and Nursing was the scientific support for the "out of the box" study on information on the subject of women’s health. The other research fields Evidence Based Practice in Health Care and Nursing Research and Research in Health Promotion and Prevention in Health Care and Nursing round out the research work of the competence center. "We make applied nursing science as an independent scientific discipline and its important role in health research visible."

Interrelation between teaching and research

"Our focus is on actively helping to shape the health and nursing care of the future," explained Roswitha Engel, Head of Department Applied Nursing Science and Head of Degree Program Health Care and Nursing. This implies a strong correlation between research and teaching. Students raise research questions, work on research projects and the results are then used in teaching. A successful example of recently completed projects is the evaluation study "Getting Older Healthy in Vienna" on behalf of the Vienna Health Promotion Agency. The research project InCoPAS dealt with how information must be prepared for relatives of stroke victims.

Success factor cooperation networks

"In this way we also promote the next generation of researchers and make a contribution to application-oriented research," says Roswitha Engel with certainty. Optimal framework conditions also result from a large national and international network. "There is a close research connection with external cooperation partners from the industry and business, as well as the health sector with the Vienna Health Association, the Nursing Academy of the Barmherzigen Brüder and the Vinzenz Group," explains Engel, emphasizing a great advantage of the new Competence Center.

Vice Rector for Research and Development, Heimo Sandtner, was pleased to welcome the new Competence Center Applied Nursing Research as another driving force for the research and development strategy of FH Campus Wien. During the opening ceremony, he proudly pointed out a research turnover of 2.9 million Euro as of July 2019. "Thanks to the steadily growing number of research projects, our university of applied sciences is one of the three most research-intensive universities of applied sciences in Austria."

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