Why are nurses afraid of research?

James Meek
Lecturer, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK

Welcome to the spring edition of HIV Nursing with the theme being Research and Advanced Practice. This is my first edition as guest editor and I have thoroughly enjoyed the process; I hope that you enjoy this edition.
When you mention the word ‘research’ to nurses, you either see a positive glow or a negative expression. The worry of: How can I undertake research and undertake my role? And what happens if it all goes wrong? These are common thoughts as we contemplate commencing a piece of research. We need to not be afraid of research and instead embrace it within our profession. Do not get me wrong – I am aware that as nurses we have advanced so far with research practice, and this edition shows examples of this hard work. However, we need to maintain this progress.
As nurses we all should be working within our professional code of conduct [1] which highlights the importance of delivering care based on the best available evidence or best practice. We all know we need to do it but how can we ensure we do if we are afraid of the ‘R’ word? Most of us at some point, probably via an academic course, will have undertaken a literature review. This is the backbone of research and the starting point for most of us. Once a literature review has been completed I would recommend submitting it to an academic journal for consideration for publication. However, sadly what normally happens is we file it away, never to be seen again. Let’s no longer be scared of the word ‘research’ and instead encompass it within our daily lives. Use that literature review to instead provide you with the confidence to contact your employer’s research team and find out the process for putting your thoughts into practice. Read more…