Working within a modern National Health Service in the United Kingdom, the place for research and its dissemination is increasingly important. The organization of this within each National Health Service (NHS) Trust is challenging but nevertheless essential. If health care professionals are to be empowered to adopt an evidence-based approach in both the planning and delivery of care, research aware employees are crucial.
This paper highlights the importance of NHS hospital trusts implementing initiatives that will facilitate this process. One such initiative has been the development and survey of a clinical standard for research. The primary development aim was to provide a benchmark standard for all nursing research. The standard was developed to fit within the current dynamic quality improvement (DQI) programme and has directly contributed to an evolving culture of research by shaping nurses' awareness, and offering a support and consultancy network within the Trust. The standard is one aspect of a research awareness programme, with the primary objective of providing guidance and education whilst developing nurses throughout the research process. The planned strategic outcome is to see a positive outcome on the quality of research in the Trust.
A baseline survey was conducted to provide a definitive snap shot of research understanding and practice within the Trust following the introduction of the research standard.
The standard was developed by a team of clinicians led by a member of the quality team, to ensure that it fitted the DQI structure, and a member of the Nursing Research Unit (NRU). The standard was distributed to every clinical area and 192 nurses were surveyed to evaluate its impact on their awareness of educational opportunities, their use of the consultancy and support service, their use of other support services, their research utilization and research quality.
The survey demonstrated that the implementation of the standard had increased awareness related to both formal and informal educational and research opportunities. It identified current nurses' strengths and weaknesses relative to all aspects of the research process, particularly in obtaining ethical approval for studies. A rolling programme of research education enabled nurses to gain essential knowledge and skills in supporting their developing research awareness, consumption and conduct of research.
The NRU, through this process, has formed an effective alliance between clinical nurses and research facilitators in promoting high quality research. The foundations to continue to support this within the Trust are now well established.
"One of the recent initiatives is to establish regular research meetings to support the less experienced academics and ensure they are offered opportunities to participate in established research and undertake co-supervision of research students. Parkin and Bullock (2005) have demonstrated how a clinical standard for research can be successfully implemented and also recommend alliances between full-time clinical nurses and researcher facilitators allowing mentoring and offering advice and support. The presence of a clinical school addresses this issue with on-site support and advice and easy access to nursing academics. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For clinical nurses and nursing academics wishing to participate in research, there are several logistical issues such as high workloads, lack of time and poor research skills and knowledge that can impede research being undertaken. To address these issues, La Trobe University in partnership with one of Melbourne's acute care hospitals developed a clinical school with the aim of delivering postgraduate courses and undertaking collaborative clinically focused nursing research. Clinical issues were identified jointly between university academics and clinical nursing staff. Research questions were developed to examine these issues with the clinical school staff facilitating the research process. Research has been undertaken in many specialty areas including emergency, cardiac and intensive care nursing and diabetes. The success of this collaboration is evident with many studies being undertaken and consequently dissemination of research findings published (with clinicians being the primary author on many papers), presentations at national and international conferences by clinical staff as well as an increased enrollment into masters and doctoral programmes. The presence of the clinical school at the hospital has been beneficial both to clinicians and nurse academics and resulted in developing a positive research environment. More importantly, the research has led to changes in patient care and enabled clinicians to gain research experience and further academic qualifications. The other benefit is that nurse academics have strengthened their working relationship with clinicians and ensured visible research outputs were achieved.
"Nevertheless, there is growing evidence of innovative academic–practice partnerships throughout the world that are making evidence-based practice a part of everyday clinical practice, and of nursing curricula at all levels. I believe there is strong evidence that we have moved beyond simple 'research utilization' to make 'evidence-based practice' part of our educational and practice norms in countries that have a strong history of nursing research and nursing education within higher education (Burke et al. 2005, Henderson et al. 2005, Mohide & Coker 2005, Parkin & Bullock 2005). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: he importance of high-quality research to address our knowledge deficits in relation to the causes of hospital-acquired infection has been acknowledged by the Department of Health. However, the contribution of nursing research may be restricted by confusion over the use of different paradigms and the discipline's lack of research pedigree. This paper discusses how nursing and infection control has historically favoured quantitative methods as they are associated with rigour, objectivity, generalisation and increased credibility. However, increasingly nurse researchers are turning to qualitative methods as they better explain the complex behavioural issues that affect practice. The paper describes a number of qualitative methods and infection control studies that have adopted these approaches. It concludes by suggesting that infection control nurses, because of their close relationship with practice are well placed to consider the merits of qualitative research as a way of contributing towards the discipline's research agenda.
British Journal of Infection Control 12/2006; 7(6):25-29. DOI:10.1177/14690446060070060701
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