Nursing Research Essential for Quality Care


Ground-breaking advances in the delivery of quality health care are being driven, in part, by nursing research. Often working behind the scenes, nurse researchers are influential in the development and implementation of clinical research studies. Through analysis, researchers promote the use of their findings into real-life situations within the practice setting. Working as scientists, nurse researchers collect data and information to glean insight into human health and health care.

As professionals, all registered nurses are required to read, analyze and apply nursing research to improve the outcomes of patient care. As nurses pursue higher levels of education, nursing research and theory become more important to the vocation. Advanced nursing research usually requires post-graduate education. Masters and doctoral prepared nurses devote a significant amount of time to research development and analysis to provide knowledge to future nurses in the classroom setting. Strong observation and analytical skills are a prerequisite for this role.

"Research is the best way to improve patient care," said Patricia Grady, director at the National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health. "As a nurse scientist, your research provides an evidence base for others to build upon and links you to the legacy of a healthier future. Research is a critical investment in the future."

New research into patient safety will remain an important issue for all of health care; however, nurse researchers also engage in other areas of research that could potentially offer insight into the direct causes of the nursing shortage. Collecting data to optimize nurses' efficiencies by monitoring nurses daily in action could potentially reduce nurse turnover.

Well-equipped in research methodology, nurse researchers continuously enhance the delivery of health care, while also identifying ways to preserve the delicate practice of nursing.

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