Last updated: March 19, 2019
Topic: CareersNursing
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Key historical developments in nursing research and nursing research utilization

A research paper on the key historical developments in nursing research and nursing research utilization ought to point out some of the significant contributions that have positively influenced the nursing practice and how the findings influenced the same field. It is credible to point out that lack of nursing research would limit the capacity of practitioners in this field to apply evidence-based practices. Therefore, nursing research is vital to address the aspects of quality and cost-benefits in providing health care. Three historical developments in nursing research utilization and two historical developments in nursing research will be discussed in this research paper. Moreover, how these developments have influenced nursing research will be analyzed. (Nursing Research Position Statement, International Council of Nurses, 1997, Nursing Research: Building International Research Agenda. Report of the Expert Committee on Nursing Research.  Geneva: ICN.  Retrieved September 14, 2007 from http://www.icn.ch/psresearch99.htm.)

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The work of Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War marks one key historical development in nursing research. Florence studied the hygiene and sanitation condition s of the military at the time of war and concluded on the effects of these conditions. She noted that the rate of illness and mortality among the military men was directly related to the ill conditions that the armies were subjected to in the war fields.  As a result of these findings, a change of attitude towards the sick was observed in the military force.  Thus, the sick received adequate food, suitable medical attentions, and improved accommodation.  These change over considerably lowered death by forty one percent during the Crimean War. (Burns & Grove, 2003)

The work of Florence Nightingale further contributed to development in nursing research utilization. She applied her research findings from the Crimean War military to bring changes in the society; public water testing, preventing starvation, improving sanitation, and reducing illness and mortality were the results.  (Burns & Grove, 2003).  Florence Nightingale concentrated her research on the environment where she gathered knowledge on how it influenced a patient’s health and welfare. In summary, the Florence Nightingale conclusions are widely applied in modern nursing practices.  Thus, access to clean water and air, light and good sanitary conditions are stressed in the fight against diseases.

A further significant historical development in nursing research is the study conducted by the American Nurses Association. The research on nursing functions which was initiated in 1950 and lasted for five years saw gave the definition of a professional nurse.  It therefore, provided the foundation for nursing standards which in present day guide nursing practice. On the other hand, the historical development in nursing research utilization is identified when the first issue of a journal in nursing research was published in 1952. The publication was motivated by the aforesaid work of the American Nurses Association. (Burns & Grove, 2003)

The purpose of nursing research is to establish the treatment or method of care that brings the best result with the least cost. A feasible method of treatment is a method of care or treatment that brings benefits to the patients and it is not very expensive. As well, nursing research makes it possible to have evidence-based nursing. Guidelines on the suitable practices in nursing are being instituted as a result of the findings of nursing research. With the increasing demand for evidenced-based, nursing research utilization is integral of the research process.

Normally, new strategies bring controversies; the concept of evidence-based medication has attracted criticism. For instance, some quarters argue that there is nothing novel about evidence-based nursing. Thus, in years practitioners in nursing have observed what works or does not work for patients while doing their work. However, these findings are informally conducted since nurses do not engage in the formal process of researching.

But the evidence-based nursing calls for integration of individual medical knowledge with the best external clinical evidence through a methodical investigation.  Adeptness and opinion of the nursing practitioners acquired through their clinical experience and practice describes the necessity of individual clinical knowledge. As well, the best clinical evidence signifies the clinical relevance of the research. Thus the research is based on the science of medicine and centered on the patient where precision and accuracy in diagnosis, prognostic ability and efficacy, and safety of therapeutic, preventive, and rehabilitative regimen is factored.  Clinical evidence acquired outside the normal clinical set up invalidates earlier accepted diagnosis and treatments for more powerful, suitable, accurate, safer and more efficient treatments. (Condell, (2004)
References

Bramwell, L. (1985):  Nursing science: retrospect and prospect. New York; The Free Press

Burns, P. & Grove, H. (2003): The historical development of American nursing, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Condell, S. (2004): Journeying to professionalism: The case of Irish nursing and midwifery research. International Journal of Nursing Practice 10:4, 145–149

Nieswiadomy, R. M. (2008):  Foundations of Nursing Research, 5th Ed, Upper Saddle River, NJ, Pearson Education, Inc.

Nursing Research Position Statement, International Council of Nurses, (1997):  Report of the Expert Committee on Nursing Research.  Geneva: ICN.  Retrieved from http://www.icn.ch/psresearch99.htm, accessed on September 14, 2007