The Academic Respiratory Research Alliance evolved from the Respiratory Nurse Research Consortium (RNRC), originally established by Dr Carol Kelly in 2016. Dr Kelly brought together academics and clinicians with respiratory research interests and expertise. The aim of this group was to undertake, facilitate and promote high quality, collaborative, multidisciplinary research relevant to respiratory nursing. The main emphasis of the research programme was to ensure high quality, person-centred respiratory nursing practice to support people living with respiratory conditions, their lay carers and families and positively direct nursing practice, education, and policy.
During 2016-17 the RNRC delivered on several key objectives. One key deliverable was to identify the research priorities for respiratory nursing. A literature review and a Delphi study of the Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists (ARNS) members was published in 2018 (link). Key priorities identified were:
- Patient understanding of asthma control
- The clinical and cost-effectiveness of respiratory nurse interventions
- The impact of nurse-led clinics on patient care
- Inhaler technique
- Prevention of exacerbations/symptom management
The RNRC prioritised the development of research active respiratory nurses, offering support and mentorship through ARNS. This enabled the growth of research and audit work being presented at the ARNS conferences and enabled a collaborative research and education strategy. In 2019, the RNRC merged into the Research and Education subcommittee of ARNS with a focus on educational and research strategy, rather than delivering research.
The COVID-19 pandemic stimulated urgent action across international healthcare systems and, as a predominantly respiratory illness, called respiratory nurses to action across the world. This stimulus necessitated rapid research and evaluation of respiratory nurses’ part in the pandemic and to address the needs of people with respiratory disease. Dr Carol Kelly, Dr Nicola Roberts, Dr Lindsay Welch, Dr Kate Lippiett and Mrs Emma Ray were all ARNS members who had worked together in the past. Their collective expertise in respiratory related research brought them together to form ARRA in 2020. The purpose of ARRA was to ensure that patients with respiratory disease and their lay carers and families receive the best possible, person-centred care and to promote the role of respiratory nurses in delivering this.