In 1992, two important events occurred in British nursing research. The first was the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), which was conducted by the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFC) across all academic disciplines. This exercise involved 29 nursing departments from universities in the United Kingdom. In December, the results showed that nursing was at the bottom of this league table, ranking 72nd of 72 academic cost centers (1).

We first review the major responses to the two Research Assessment Exercises in the literature. Then we present the findings of a small survey of nursing departments that participated in the RAE. Finally, we make some predictions about the future of nursing research based on recent health and education policy. Many of the problems experienced can be attributed to contradictory policies in health and education, and competing ways of assessing performance. The 'pincer' movement of strictness in both sectors has caught nursing education in its grip.

The RAE's challenges and the need to earn money from contracts with National Health Service Education and Training Consortia (NHS) for teaching are a result of two opposing views on the role of higher educational institutions. One is an elitist one, and the other sees it as a provider of workforce requirements by industry. The NHS R&D strategy (research and Development) provides an alternative venue for collaboration, funding, and reputation to that created by the RAE.

NIJRBN3034 Nursing Research Assessment

The CNO's research strategic plan in England outlines the aim to "create an environment where nurses are empowered to lead research, participate and deliver it, and where research is fully integrated into practice and professional decisions, to benefit the public". This ambition will enhance and expand the contribution of nurses to improving health and care through research with global significance. This research provides the scientific foundation for the care of individuals across their lifespan, from illness to recovery, and even at the end. It also helps prevent illness, protect health, and promote well-being.