Engages Ph.D. candidate at the regional finals of the Researchers’ Grand Prix 2019

Gunn-Berit Neergård was a participant of the Researchers’ Grand Prix 2019 Trondheim. Her field of research is the combination of nursing and entrepreneurship. 

By Anniken Sanna

An incredible journey

The Researchers’ Grand Prix is Norway’s national championship for Ph.D. candidates to present their research. In September 2019 Gunn-Berit Neergård competed against nine researchers in the regional finals in Trondheim. Neergård says it was an incredible journey and a lot of work. She had to rehearse and rewrite her pitches several times to make sure she had the perfect pitch of her research in the regional finals. 

I think it is important to share research with the public, showing what we do, that it really works, and that it can create amazing progress for society 

Neergårds research explores how nurses pursue entrepreneurial processes to create value for others, and she especially focuses on how nursing students can become entrepreneurial through education. 

Gunn-Berit Sæter. Foto: Julie Solem
Gunn-Berit Neergård think the combination of nursing and entrepreneurship is very important. Foto: Julie Solem

A unique and important role in entrepreneurship

The combination of nursing and entrepreneurship is very important for our society. Health care is going through radical changes in the future. In these processes, products, services and procedures will change to improve health care in terms of quality and cost-efficiency. 

Neergård points out that it is crucial that nurses, who are the biggest group of health care personnel, both in Norway and in the world, are part of these changes. Nurses are present in all parts of health care, promoting health, preventing sickness and caring for the ill, disabled and dying.

They know the patient and the hospital systems like no one else, and their unique knowledge is very valuable when creating changes for better health care.

Nurses face a lot of challenges when entering the world of entrepreneurship. A lot of nurses believe that there is a clash of values between nursing and entrepreneurship, and they may face criticism and judgment for not being true to their profession, Neergård says. She points out that these prejudices are counterproductive because looking for better ways to solve a problem for patient groups is a natural part of being a great nurse. 

Hopes for innovative work in health care 

One part of her research is to study the former literature about nursing and entrepreneurship,  and writing a systematic literature review of the topic. By doing this she hopes that it can tear down a lot of common misconceptions about entrepreneurial nursing as something weird, unnatural or unethical. 

I want to see nurses creating our future health care in line with their values and experiences. Therefore, I hope my work will empower nurses to become entrepreneurial. 

Neergård hopes her research can contribute so that nurses who dare to be entrepreneurial will gain support from their fellow nurses, their interdisciplinary co-workers, and the public. The end goal is the creation of better services, procedures and products in health care, increasing both quality and cost-efficiency in health care. This will lead to more health for every penny spent.

Foto: Thor Nielsen / NTNU
Gunn Berit Neergård on stage at the regional finals of the Researchers’ Grand Prix 2019. Foto: Thor Nielsen / NTNU