Children's nurses' research involvement: making practice-focused research happen

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Abstract

Aims of the paper

In this paper I hope to, at least partially, succeed in demystifying the research process, especially as it may be perceived by clinicians, encourage their involvement and participation in clinical research and propose practical and rewarding strategies that all children's nurses can adopt to begin to create a vibrant research culture in any clinical area.

Background

The professional and organisational expectation that all nurses will, in some way, be involved in research is growing and will not go away. Despite the historic, toxic dualism that has seen research as essentially the prerogative of ‘The Academy’, clinicians are beginning to take more of an interest and role in research, despite the many obstacles that they face. In today's health care system, children's nurses cannot afford to abdicate responsibility for research or to postpone their involvement until the ideal conditions for their engagement come along. This paper suggests approaches and strategies that clinicians, educators, managers and researchers can use as a basis for productive and mutually beneficial collaborative research initiatives.

Design

Position paper.

Conclusions

Developing clinical-focused, collaborative, interdisciplinary research is now a worldwide policy and practice imperative. There is no reason why children's nurses cannot take a leading role in this movement. Previous models of research where research has been undertaken by academics and then ‘disseminated’ to clinicians who are expected to ‘implement’ it (and who are then subsequently blamed for failure) has been less than successful and small wonder.

Relevance to clinical practice

Where clinicians are directly involved as genuine research partners in both the research process and the project from day 1, there is a real prospect that both the benefits of the inquiry process and any research findings will be more readily adopted by the clinical areas concerned.

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