ARCHIVED - Nursing Issues: Research

Office of Nursing Policy
Health Canada
November 2006
ISBN: 978-0-662-44714-6 (PDF Version)
Cat. No.: H21-281/5-2006E

* Note: this list is not expected to be all-inclusive of the programs and organizations with some involvement in nursing research but has instead been complied to give the reader some idea of what programs and organizations are available.


This fact sheet examines various national organizations and programs concerned with nursing research in Canada:

  • The Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF);
  • The Canadian Institutes for Health Information (CIHR);
  • Partnership Programs by CHSRF and CIHR;
  • The Canadian Association for Nursing Research (CANR);
  • The Canadian Nurses Foundation (CNF);
  • The Consortium for Nursing Research and Innovation (CNRI).*

Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF)

The Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF) promotes evidencebased decision-making and change in Canada's healthcare system. Nursing Leadership, Organization and Policy is one of the four key research themes of the CHSRF. This theme focuses on the capacity development of researchers and research on nursing issues that benefit nurses, the healthcare system, and users of this system.

The Nursing Research Fund (NRF)

The Nursing Research Fund (NRF) is CHSRF's main funding envelope for nursing research (an average of $2.5 million each year). The NRF is supported by a federal investment of $25 million in 1999 over 10 years to CHSRF. It develops nursing researchers and supports research on nursing recruitment, retention, management, and issues emerging from health service restructuring. Several of the programs supported by the Fund have other partner organizations such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The average annual expenditure of the NRF gives:

  • $500,000 to funding projects and programs of research, e.g., $200,000 to CIHR's Partnership for Health System Improvement co-sponsorship fund and $300,000 to the foundation's Research, Exchange and Impact for System Support (REISS) new grants competition;
  • $500,000 to the Nursing Care Partnership Fund (NCP) for research on nursing care, administered by the Canadian Nurses Foundation;
  • $500,000 for nursing chairs in the foundation's CHSRF/CIHR Chair Awards;
  • $750,000 for training in the CADRE Program (excluding the chair awards) to address short-term and long-term capacity-building for applied health services and nursing research (see below); and
  • $250,000 for knowledge networks and dissemination activities.

(See below for further details concerning some of these expenditures and programs.)
For more information, visit CHSRF's website

REISS Program

CHSRF has changed its grants competition to maximize the impact of health services and nursing research on decision-making within the Canadian health care system. The resulting new grant competition - Research, Exchange, and Impact for System Support (REISS) - was announced in 2004, with notification of results by November 2005. Interprofessional teams of researchers and decision-makers were invited to submit applications under one of the following themes:

  • management of the healthcare workplace;
  • managing for quality and safety;
  • nursing leadership, organization and policy; and
  • primary health care.

The choice of these theme areas were informed by the Listening for Direction II national consultations conducted by CHSRF, CIHR and other partners.1 The REISS competition is a success program to CHSRF's Open Grants Competition.
For more information, visit the REISS link on CHSRF's website

Canadian Institutes for Health Information (CIHR)

The Institute of Health Services and Policy Research (IHSPR) is one of 13 research institutes comprising the Canadian Institutes for Health Information (CIHR). IHSPR is dedicated to supporting innovative research, capacity-building and knowledge translation initiatives designed to improve the way health care services are organized, regulated, managed, financed, paid for, used and delivered, in the interest of improving the health and quality of life of all Canadians.

IHSPR offers a variety of funding opportunities, including Scoping Reviews and Research Syntheses: Priority Health Services and System Issues, and other awards.
For more information, visit CIHR's website

Partnership Programs by CHSRF and CIHR

CADRE Program

The Capacity for Applied and Developmental Research and Evaluation (CADRE) in Health Services and Nursing is a partnership between CHSRF and CIHR to develop increased capacity in applied health services and policy research, including nursing management and organization issues. Approximately $6.5 million per year is invested in CADRE. The components of the CADRE program are as follows:

  • CHSRF/CIHR Awards: These awards are given to leaders in health services and nursing research for up to 10 years to mentor and educate less experienced researchers, train graduate students, build national applied research networks, and conduct research.
  • CHSRF/CIHR Regional Training Centres: These centres are designed to ensure a flow of applied health services and nursing researchers at the graduate level through a regional approach over a ten-year period.
  • Career Reorientation Awards: These awards support established researchers not currently working in health (social scientists in particular) to work with a mentor for one year to reorient their research toward applied health services or policy research.
  • Postdoctoral Awards: These two-year awards build capacity through development of new researchers. Emphasis is placed on working with managers and policy-makers as well as on acquiring skills that maximize the dissemination and use of their future research.

For more information, visit the CADRE link under CHSRF's website at:

Partnerships for Health System Improvement (CHSRF, CIHR and other partners)

The purpose of the Partnerships for Health System Improvement Program is to support teams of researchers and decision-makers engaged in applied health research of interest and use to health system managers and policy-makers over a two to five-year period. Successful applicants will conduct research projects in high-priority theme areas resulting from the Listening for Direction II national consultations.2 This program was previously managed by CHSRF as part of its Open Grants Competition, the project component of which was transferred to CIHR in 2004.
For more information, visit the Partnerships for Health System Improvement link at:

The Canadian Nurses Foundation (CNF)

The Canadian Nurses Foundation (CNF), founded in 1962, promotes health and quality patient care in Canada by supporting nursing education and research. CNF provides this support through contributions from a variety of sources, including individuals, corporations, foundations, organizations and governments. The CNF has several partner organizations, including the Canadian Nurses Association and registered nurses associations or colleges of registered nurses in most provinces and territories. In 2003, the CNF was granted a five-year renewable award of $2.5 million for the administration of the Nursing Care Partnership Program (NCP) by the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF), a component of the Nursing Research Fund. While the mandate of the NRF is to support research addressing policy, the Nursing Care Partnership Program is directed to support clinical nursing research. CNF also awards scholarships at the Baccalaureate ($1,000 - $3,000), Master's ($3,000 - $5,000) and Doctoral level ($4,000 - $6,000).
For more information, visit CNF's website at:

The Canadian Association for Nursing Research (CANR)

The Canadian Association for Nursing Research (CANR) is a national organization with representation from every province and territory. Members are nurses, students and others who represent clinical practice, administration, or education and research, and who practice in hospital, community, industry, research and educational settings.

CANR's mission is to foster research-based nursing practice and practice-based nursing research by:

  • providing information about research studies, methods, funding and other resources;
  • strengthening linkages between research, education, administration, and clinic practice;
  • representing members' interests to governments, funding agencies, and other nursing organizations;
  • recognizing excellence in nursing activities; and
  • educating professionals and the public about the significance of the partnership between nursing research and practice;

CANR has four awards to recognize the outstanding contribution of nurses to nursing research and the goals of the association:

  • The CANR Nurse Researcher Award for an established nurse scientist who has made a significant contribution to nursing research;
  • The CANR Outstanding New Investigator Award is for an outstanding new researcher;
  • The CANR Award for the Promotion of Research Based Practice is for an individual or group who has shown leadership in the utilization of research in clinical nursing practice; and
  • The CANR Practitioner-Researcher Award is for a clinician or manager pursuing research within a clinical setting.

For more information, visit CANR's website.

The Canadian Consortium for Nursing Research and Innovation (CNRI)

The Office of Nursing Policy at Health Canada led the development of The Canadian Consortium for Nursing Research and Innovation in an effort to provide leadership and a unified, collaborative voice for advancing nursing science.

In 2002, ONP convened an invitational Think Tank of Canadian nurse scientists and policy-makers called Pathfinding for Nursing Science in the 21st Century and from which the need for a coordinated voice for nursing science was identified as a priority.

In 2004, ONP contracted with the Canadian Nurses Foundation (CNF) to provide project management to bring together five key organizations to confirm support and develop priorities for moving ahead with the creation of a Consortium. The Consortium brings together CNF and the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN), the Canadian Association for Nursing Research (CANR), and the Academy of Canadian Executive Nurses (ACEN). Also represented are ONP and Canada's nursing research chairs.3 The Consortium is working to develop a strategic plan, build partnerships, and advocate for funding to support research programs, infrastructure, career awards, and other initiatives.4

The Consortium will review its membership annually and additional stakeholder groups will be added as needed. Founding members are committed to developing a mechanism for other nursing groups and stakeholders provide input.5


1. See Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, Canadian Institute for Health Information, Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Statistics Canada. Listening for Direction II, 2004. The primary research themes discussed in this document are:

  • 1) workforce planning, training and regulation;
  • 2) management of the health care workplace;
  • 3) timely access to quality care for all;
  • 4) managing for quality and safety;
  • 5) under standing and responding to public expectations;
  • 6) sustainable funding and ethical resource allocation;
  • 7) governance and accountability;
  • 8) managing and adapting to change;
  • 9) linking care across place, time and settings; and
  • 10) linking public health to health services (PDF Version) and through each of the partner organizations' respective websites.

2. Ibid.

3. Office of Nursing Policy, Health Canada.

4. Mary Ellen Jeans, RN, PhD. "Shared Leadership for Nursing Research," Nursing Leadership, 18(1), 2005.

5. Ibid.

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