Research is essential for defining the nursing profession by providing guidelines for ascertaining best practices and advancing the science of nursing practice. The application of research findings is vital for improving patients' outcomes and for ensuring that nursing practice is both cost-efficient and effective. Research findings are not always implemented into nursing practice which is known as the research gap. Nurses interviewed stated they were aware of a few research findings that were implemented into practice that improved nursing care and patient outcome. These examples include use of chlorhexidine skin preparation and maximum barrier precautions during insertion of central venous catheters to prevent catheter-related infections, gender differences in recovery from cardiac surgery.
Many nurses stated that there are many barriers to research such as lack of knowledge about nursing research, lack of institutional support, and limited research findings applicable to nursing practice. Many practicing nurses state they have not been prepared by the educational system to read and utilize research findings.
Many nurses lack access to nursing research journals. Institutions are not allowing time for staff nurses to read research and attend research conferences, not providing administrative support, including financial assistance for meetings, committee work, and attending conferences. Nurses have also stated that they are not included in research that is conducted within the organization or not informed of the findings.
Nurses feel that research cannot be readily utilized. Nurses have stated that research is not at a point of direct application. They feel research is specific to certain groups and not generalized enough to be applicable to different areas. There are many gaps in research which creates difficulty with utilization. Some nurses have stated that research is limited because not all factors are taken into account when conducting research.
Resistance to change is a reason some nurses don't...