Research readiness: A core aspect of fitness for practice?
Authors: Serrant, L. and Heaslip, V.
Start date: 6 May 2018
Research and clinical practice education are often conceptualised as related but opposing areas of professional development. While nurse education and training highlights the importance of evidence based practice, often in reality the career trajectories and leadership development of nurses working as researchers or practitioners exist as parallel entities. In many countries this is further complicated by the fact that becoming a nurse researcher, educationalist or clinical practitioner requires an individual to select disparate career pathways. However the professional regulatory bodies for nursing stipulate that utilising evidence to inform education, policy and practice of healthcare is an essential part of nurses’ fitness to practice (Nursing Midwifery Council 2014). In addition, in the UK as elsewhere, national strategic priorities for nurses highlight nurses’ responsibility to evidence the work they do and the impact it has on patient care (NHS England 2016; Nursing Council New Zealand 2016). The authors here therefore assert, that far from being disparate requirements nurse educators have a responsibility to ensure that research and practice are unified and that nurses at the point of qualification and beyond are research ready and research able respectively. This paper explores the critical relationship between research readiness and fitness to practice in a nursing context and argues that failure to ensure that education programmes equip nurses with the skills to use, understand, create and apply research evidence fail to adequately prepare them for practice in the 21st century.
NHS England, 2016. Leading Change; adding value a framework for nursing midwives and care staff. London: NHS.
Nursing Council for New Zealand. 2016. Competencies for registered nurses. Nursing Council for New Zealand: Wellington.
Nursing Midwifery Council, 2014. Standards for competence for registered nurses. London: Nursing Midwifery Council.