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A few of the nurses on my unit have approached me about nursing research. What information can I give them to help get them started in the process?

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Nurse researchers can build excitement among staff nurses and all interdisciplinary team members by fostering nurses' interest and participation in evidence-based practice (EBP.) The purpose of conducting nursing research is to provide EBP for the discipline of nursing. EBP states that nursing practice should not be based solely on traditions or personal experience, but should be based on scientific research findings.

It is important to remember that EBP and nursing research are not one and the same. When nurses want to focus on making their practice evidence-based, they should quickly review what is currently being practiced and determine whether changes are needed. If problems exist with the current practice or if you want to know whether your current practice is up to date, start with reviewing the literature. Literature reviews can be accomplished with the help of medical librarians or search engines

Once an understanding of current practice is determined, it can then be decided if research should be conducted. This type of review process will also be helpful later when deciding on the actual research design.

Marquetta Flaugher, ARNP-BC, DSN

(January 2010)