From the beginning, research was a priority for the School of Nursing, who expended considerable effort to develop and promote staff and student research.
Research was not just a focus for the nursing academics; it was also a priority for the Schools’ clinical partners. Mia Carroll, Director of Nursing at the Auckland District Health Board from 1999 to 2002 commented on her motivation for encouraging the development of research in the School of Nursing.
The School of Nursing's position at the University provided an opportunity and space for nurses to develop their research skills in a research-rich environment. Research was already well established at the University of Auckland, which had systems in place to support staff and student research, including access to funding in a way that was not available in polytechnics at that time.
"I think really the exposure to research here has been the underpinning of what I think the nursing programmes do here. Not to say that AIT [Auckland Institute of Technology] didn't have that research but it was infancy, it didn't have that huge structure in behind it - that university structure in behind it."
Senior Lecturer and Programme Director of the Bachelor of Nursing (2001-2015)
Initially, it was challenging to develop nurse-led research because very few nurses held the necessary qualifications. As Head of School, Judy Kilpatrick actively recruited staff who had, or were in the process of gaining, the qualifications that would allow them to produce research and to supervise postgraduate students’ research.
Research at the School of Nursing has grown from strength to strength. As Margaret Horsburgh, noted, 'Where [the School of Nursing] ranks in terms of research in this University is absolutely amazing.'