To provide high-quality nursing, nurses have to constantly improve their skills and knowledge. Nursing research enables them to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. Nursing research is a “systematic process of inquiry” which exploits specific guidelines to “produce unbiased, trustworthy answers” to questions that can appear during nursing (Houser, 2015, p. 5). This research is regarded as certain evidence while analyzing the most effective nursing practices. In other words, nursing research is a process when effective strategies are analyzed, shared and applied in different situations.
It is necessary to note that the concept of nursing research is quite similar to the concept of evidence-based research. Hence, evidence-based research is the use “of best scientific evidence… clinical experience and… patient values and preferences” (Houser, 2015, p. 12). Clearly, the two concepts are based on evidence but it is obtained differently. Nursing research focuses on real-life experiences with the use of theory and research whereas evidence-based research concentrates on scientific evidence with the incorporation of such nursing experiences as clinical experience and patient values.
Admittedly, these two approaches should be both used by nurses as they enable them to provide more comprehensive and high-quality services. Nurses can share their experiences and best practices. Of course, some practice can be applied in a particular setting. However, there are lots of practices that can be adopted for broader contexts. Thus, the experience becomes the necessary evidence that shows the effectiveness of this or that practice. It is also important to remember that nurses should implement research and analyze literature on different topics. This will enable each nurse to self-develop.
Being a nurse, one should always seek new more evidence to make sure that he/she is able to make the right decision. It is necessary to note that the debate on the necessity to incorporate theory and clinical evidence in nursing started in the 1990s (Houser, 2011). It became clear that nurses need specific scientific evidence as well as clinical experience to be able to address a variety of issues that appear every day.
I, personally, try to use evidence-based practice as it helps me be a more effective nurse. I have noticed numerous details which enable me to meet patients’ needs. I often notice that many situations are alike and I can apply specific practices in similar cases. I would like to state that I never start using even the best practice without being completely sure this or that approach can be effective in a particular setting. I always try to find the necessary evidence that all variables are similar. These variables are diagnosis, patients’ personal data (especially age, marital status and so on), and patients’ characteristic features and so on. I believe I have to be absolutely sure in a practice I am going to use in each case.
I often analyze different academic resources where I can get experience of other nurses. I can also follow the ongoing debate on numerous issues. I try to utilize some practices I have observed in literature or during my interactions with other healthcare professionals. I cannot say that the use of academic research is more effective than utilization of clinical experience. It is necessary to stress that these two approaches have to be used while completing tasks as this enables a nurse to provide high-quality services.
Houser, J. (2015). Nursing research: Reading, using and creating evidence. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett.