The COVID-19 outbreak has taken all in Europe by surprise. The quick spread of the disease across European countries is taking a toll at all levels of society, including the economy. Nevertheless, the biggest impact is occurring in the healthcare systems and the nursing workforce – they are working harder than ever before, in longer shifts, and with fewer resources.
Over the past month, researchers have been promised billions of euros in new research grants and programmes from governments and foundations around the world. The role of science in finding a vaccine, a cure, a strategy for coping, is recognised and promoted by all health stakeholders, giving great opportunities for the nursing research community.
The key concern regarding these upcoming grants do not relate to the amount of money that will be allocated. Instead, the questions should be asked regarding on what these funds will be allocated to. Especially in times of crisis, research policy spills over into many unresolved. The ENRF believes that the majority of these should be allocated to nursing researchers.
Nurse researchers are now in the position to put forward the conclusions of their research to alleviate the situation at the frontline. Moreover, they should join the scientific race to track the origin of the coronavirus pandemic as well, including treatments and best practices of care for patients with the disease.
Nurse researchers should take this opportunity to team-up with health researchers from other disciplines. This crisis has speeded and enabled research to move faster than during any previous outbreak. This is the time to coordinate the European and global research effort.
There is huge energy stemming from the nurse research community to tackle the COVID-19 disease.