Associate Professor Dr Vicki Cope is a general trained nurse and midwife with a background in teaching, a postgraduate Diploma in Nursing, a Master of Health Science (Nursing), and a PhD focusing on resilience in nursing. Vicki has taught in nursing and midwifery, and her research interests include leadership, resilience, qualitative research methodologies, professionalism, and the maintenance of professional standards in nursing and midwifery through education and continuing professional competence. Vicki has published articles on resilience in healthcare, leadership, education, and safety leadership. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing Australia (RCNA), a member of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), and is currently Academic Chair for Post-Graduate nursing courses in the School of Health Professions at Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia.

Creative-led research

Nursing portraits of resilience

In recent years we have seen an explosion of resilience research, but relatively few of these include the personal narratives of nurses thriving in their work. This paper will explore the creative-based qualitative methodology known as ‘Portraiture’, created by Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot (1983), where written portraits rather than painted canvasses are presented for viewing. This discussion considers why this approach is a vibrant and powerful way to communicate messages about people’s experiences: in this case, nurses’ experiences of resilience in contemporary healthcare settings.