M.K. Garrity1, I. Epstein2, M. Zanchetta1, A. Linton1, M. Hughes3

1Ryerson University (CANADA)
2George Brown College (CANADA)
3Centennial College (CANADA)
Since the year 2000, a baccalaureate of science in nursing (B.Sc.N) has been required for entry to practice as a Registered Nurse (RN) in Ontario, Canada. As a result, the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education mandated colleges and universities to develop collaborative partnerships in order to capitalize on strengths of both universities and colleges. This virtual presentation focuses on the collaboration between Ryerson University and Centennial and George Brown Colleges, located in Toronto, Canada.
In 2002 the Ryerson, Centennial, George Brown Collaborative Nursing Program created the Collaborative Scholarly, Research and Creative Activities (C-SRC) Committee with the goal of facilitating partnership in scholarship and research. Since the launch of the first C-SRC Day in 2004 faculty presentations focused on individual sites showcasing their work. Collaborative research partnerships have been very limited and publication even scarcer. In 2008 the C-SRC Committee gathered suggestions from collaborative faculty on how to improve partnership in the collaborative nursing program. One strategy identified by faculty was the need for a stream-lined ethics review process for collaborative research projects. A second strategy identified by all groups was the use of a website that would host collaborative faculty members’ profiles, research interests, works-in-progress, and other scholarly, research, and creative activities. Both of these strategies were launched during our 2009 C-SRC Day. Despite the implementation of this website, there have been very few users since its inception.
Although developing and sustaining web-based research partnerships in academia is challenging task; current research, from business and education literature, highlights the advantages of online partnerships for both the organization, faculty and students success. The key element for such success lies in conducting an extensive formal evaluation. In 2010 the C-SRC Committee used various qualitative data collections techniques (participants’ stories, drawing; group discussion/ presentation) with collaborative faculty (n=45) from the three nursing institutions sites. We asked faculty to share their perspectives on partnership. A definition of partnership was adapted from the Communicable Disease Center Prevention Research Partnership Trust Tool (CDCP, 2005). The definition of partnership includes the following concepts: dependability, communication, mutual benefit, openness, relationship building, shares power and responsibility, support, truthfulness, and values differences.
In this virtual presentation we will discuss the preliminary findings of this analysis and discuss their implications for developing collaborative research partnerships and ultimately an online site that supports these partnerships. Using social constructivist and thematic analysis research methods to guide our analysis two themes emerged. The first theme is Establishing Structured Power Relationships – Structure and boundaries were important stepping stone for forming partnership. The second theme is Co-Creating a Safe Environment – creating an environment where members feel safe to make mistakes were important component of partnership. In this virtual presentation we will discuss the economical, technological, social, and ethical implications using these two themes to guide the creation of web-based research partnerships in collaborative educational programs.