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Heart nurses receive funding

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A new nursing program will put the U of C at the heart of cardiovascular research.

University of Calgary's Dr. Kathryn King and Dr. Heather Arthur from McMaster University created Facilitating Unique Training Using Research and Education Program. Thanks to a $1.8 million grant from the Canadian Institutes of Heart Research and Health and Stroke Foundation of Canada, starting Fall 2004, FUTURE will train nurse scientists in cardiovascular research. King hopes to graduate 30 students over the next five years.

"There are very few nurse cardiovascular scientists," said King. "Cardiovascular is an important health problem in Canada."

The program will be implemented at 12 universities across Canada. Students will be pursuing nursing PhDs and will be mentored by experts at their home universities. King believes U of C is lucky because there are two mentors: herself and Dr. Dianne Tapp. Students will also spend time at other institutions, studying with leading cardiovascular nurse scientists. future will be a two-year supplement to PhD programs.

"They'll be expected to participate in monthly teleconferences with topics like cardiovascular research," said King. "Students will also participate in summer institutes that will focus on research methodologies."

As well, the program will present an annual meeting in conjunction with the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress. There, students will present research topics along with faculty.

Nurse scientists are different from regular nurses. According to King, they can use a greater range of research methodologies to investigate a variety of topics like prevention of diseases and the impact of disease on families.

"Nursing research contributes to increased health and well being," said King. "They're using the best available science and produce evidence through good science."

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