The Amsterdam UMC Heart Center has developed a successful research collaboration with the Amsterdam University of Applied Science, Faculty of Health (AUAS), and two professors as frontrunners. Located on the same campus the institutions collaborate intensively on education and interdisciplinary research. The interdisciplinary research group ‘HEART’ is comprised of nurses, physicians and paramedics, led by Prof. Ron Peters, chair of division 3 Heart Center.

Over the past decade, the Heart Center has initiated a support program of scientific academic development for selected Bachelor and Master educated nurses. During their development as investigators, the nurses are embedded in a research group, currently led by Marjolein Snaterse. She is a Postdoc researcher, nurse and senior lecturer at the Amsterdam University of Applied Science.

Marjolein Snaterse
Marjolein Snaterse
Ron Peters Photo by DigiDaan
Ron Peters

The interdisciplinary research collaboration has resulted in the completion of several randomised controlled trials: RESPONSE 1, RESPONSE 2 and the Cardiac Care Bridge. These studies explored a multidisciplinary nurse-coordinated approach to prevention in patients with coronary heart disease and in older cardiac patients. RESPONSE 2, for example, found that nurse-coordinated referral to existing community-based lifestyle programs is effective in achieving lifestyle improvements, and the participation of the patient’s partner increases the rates of success. The interdisciplinary partnership is successfully running ongoing PhD programs and has already successfully completed several PhD programs in several professions including nursing, general practice, physiotherapy and pharmacy.

Conducting scientific research represents an important step in career development for Master educated nurses. Combining science with patient care creates an appealing perspective for talented nurses, and stimulates the recruitment of junior nursing talents for Amsterdam UMC. In addition, nursing research programs lead to new leadership in patient care, supporting the development of evidence-based nursing. As an example, a journal club has been created for nurses in the department of cardiology where recent and important publications are discussed. Another offspring of these programs is the development of patient-oriented outcomes that are responsive to nursing care.

Combining science with patient care in the nursing research program.

The programs now enjoy multi-level support from the Amsterdam UMC Board of Directors, the Heart Center Division Board and the Amsterdam Research Board. With this support nursing research is now and integral part of the Heart Center. The financial support from scientific institutes, such as the Amsterdam Cardiovascular Sciences (ACS) research institute of Amsterdam UMC, is welcomed and is a great stimulus for the nursing research projects. These developments in cardiovascular sciences will lead the way for all clinical divisions of Amsterdam UMC.

ACS Nursing Research grant
In March 2021, ACS initiated a funding scheme to stimulate research by nurses. The ACS Nursing Research grant is aimed at Amsterdam UMC nurses with a Master’s degree, who are interested in preparing a PhD trajectory in the cardiovascular field in combination with clinical duties as a nurse.

This article is published in June 2021 in the ACS magazine 2021, page 24-25.

Researchers involved