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Research nurse or nurse researcher: How much value is placed on research undertaken by nurses?

Deave, Toity


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Toity Deave
Associate Professor in Child & Family Health


The argument for evidence-based nursing practice informed by research has placed nursing research capacity-building firmly on the agenda. Despite the recognition of the need for sustainable sources of funding, the emphasis has remained on NHS R&D undertaken by doctor, supported by other professions such as nurses. Indeed, it is common for nurses to be employed in the role of research assistant or data collector, under the supervision of a doctor. The titles “Research Nurse” and “Nurse Researcher” are used interchangeably and this paper highlights the distinction between the two, the requirements of their posts, reasons why nurses may become involved in research and the difficulties that this may entail. We draw attention to the expectations of the research training that first-level nurses receive, the assumption that it results in them being research competent, and the implications for the status of nursing research. Investment in research capacity-building needs to be reflected in the organisation and infrastructure of academic departments and NHS trusts. Joint, long-term educator/practitioner/researcher appointees are required to facilitate the nurseorientated research necessary to inform the increasing demands on practice. If the practice of nursing, midwifery and health visiting is to be underpinned by a scientific evidence-base specific to its own needs, it is necessary to foster an environment conducive to reflection on practice and cultivation of ideas. © 2005, SAGE PUBLICATIONS. All rights reserved.


Deave, T. (2005). Research nurse or nurse researcher: How much value is placed on research undertaken by nurses?. Journal of Research in Nursing, 10(6), 649-657.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2005
Journal Journal of Research in Nursing
Print ISSN 1744-9871
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 6
Pages 649-657
Keywords research nurse, nurse researcher, evidence-based practice, nursing research capacity, research experience requirements
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