Developing nurse practitioners to develop practice: the experiences of nurses working on a Nursing Development Unit

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Abstract

Aim

To elicit nurses' accounts of their involvement with nursing research and their interpretations of the meaning of these projects for their practice.

Background

The links between research and practice development in health care are poorly understood and require further exploration in the light of the emerging research and development agenda within the National Health Service.

Methods

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 qualified nurses working on a Nursing Development Unit. The interviews were tape recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically.

Findings

Data analysis identified two distinct groups-a core group of nurses actively engaged in the research projects and a peripheral group involved in data collection. The characteristics of the core group mirror the characteristics of those involved in non-research-based practice development activities.

Conclusions

Engaging in research activities does not always result in the development of practice, however, there appears to be a link between practice development and critical thinking.

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