KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDE OF NURSES TOWARDS RESEARCH
The purpose of the study was to explore factors that influence nurses’ attitudes and beliefs towards research evidence-based practice by answering the following questions: Do nurses find research easy to understand? Do nurses believe the results of the research that they read? Does number of years of experience as a nurse affect nurses’ attitudes and beliefs about research? Does level of education influence nurses attitudes and beliefs toward research? Does the size of facility that a nurse works in affect attitudes and beliefs toward research? Does the role of a nurse within his or her facility affect attitudes and beliefs towards research? This study was a secondary analysis of survey data collected from nurses practicing in Itu, ikot ekpene, and Ikot abasi. Demographic information and responses to survey questions related to attitudes and beliefs provided from 224 nurses were examined to achieve the aims of this study. Regardless of experience or role, most respondents indicated they were proficient in evaluating research, but over half of the respondents were unsure if they believed the results of the research that they read. Nurses with 1-5 years of experience, those with master’s preparation, and nurse practitioners had the best attitudes towards research while nurses with greater than 20 years and charge nurses had the worst. There were no appreciated differences in attitudes between diploma, associate degree, and baccalaureate prepared. Given that nurses constitute the largest group of health care providers and their care influences patient outcomes, the pressure on the nursing profession to strengthen the importance of research evidence-based practice for all registered nurses is crucial. Further research is needed to explore the role that education, and role have in determining a nurse’s attitudes and beliefs towards research.
Nurses constitute the largest group of health care providers and their care influences patient outcomes (Aiken, Clarke, Cheung, Sloan, & Siber, 2003). Research evidence- based practice (research) is a hallmark of professional nursing practice and high quality patient care (Case, 2004).
“Research evidenced-based practice (research) is a problem solving approach to the delivery of clinical care that incorporates the best research evidence from well-designed studies along with a clinician’s expertise, and patient preferences” (Melnyk et al., 2006). research is further characterized by the Nigerian Nurses Association (ANA) as practice that occurs within the context of available resources. It has been suggested that implementing research evidence- based practice is especially important in and remote practice, to ensure the best outcomes for populations in areas with limited health-care choices and resources (Taylor, Wilkenson & Blue, 2001).Clinical research is conducted with great care, and in accordance with ethical and legal regulations. It plays an important role in the development of health services and in the quality of patient care (1–4). The availability of new treatment options or the improvement of existing treatments can only be achieved through clinical research.
The success of clinical research depends on the educational levels and competence of clinical research team members and good collaboration among them (5). A Clinical Research Nurse (CRN) is one of the important members of this multidisciplinary research team. The roles and responsibilities of nurses in clinical research may be varied according to the type of clinical research, and the institutions in which the clinical research is conducted as well as the nurses’ knowledge, education level, and abilities in the areas that they are interested in (3, 6). The International Association of Clinical Research Nurses (IACRN) defines the CRN as a specialized practice of professional nursing focused on maintaining equilibrium between care of the research participant, and fidelity to the research protocol (The International Association of Clinical Research Nurses, n.d.). This means that CRNs have critical roles and responsibilities in assuring volunteers’ safety, maintenance of informed consent, ensuring the integrity of protocol implementation, the accuracy of data collection, data recording, and follow-up (7–12). Moreover, they have an important role to raise the awareness of clinical research to patients and the public. (13–15).
Increasing the number of qualified clinical researches is one of the strategic objectives of our country. In order to reach this objective many action plans have been implemented, one of which is the training of CRNs. Clinical research nursing is a new concept in Turkey and standard training programmes, framework and legislation in this subject have not yet been put into practice. There are only a limited number of nurses working as CRNs (16). Therefore, more staff nurses need to be involved in clinical research.
Nurses address human responses to alterations or potential alterations in health. A strong policy emphasis on clinical effectiveness means that health care professionals are increasingly called upon to justify the research evidence base for their decisions, both to consumers and those in position to create and support health care policy (French, 2005). Most nursing leaders would agree that research should be “usual and customary” in their organizations (Munroe, Duffy, & Fisher, 2006). The Joint Commission (JC) requires nurse executives to ensure quality nursing care including incorporating current research findings into practice. This is a challenging goal because many nurses do not understand nor have the skills to seek and apply research evidence to their day to day practice (Pravikoff et al).
The Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to explore factors that influence nurses’ attitudes and beliefs towards research. This research addressed these questions:
- What are nurses’ attitudes and beliefs about research and research evidenced based practice?
- Do nurses find research easy to understand?
- Do nurses believe the results of the research that they read?
- Does number of years of experience as a nurse affect nurses’ attitudes and beliefs about research?
- Does level of education influence nurses attitudes and beliefs toward research?
- Does the size of facility that a nurse works in affect attitudes and beliefs toward research?
- Does the role of a nurse within his or her facility affect attitudes and beliefs towards research?
Definition of Terms
For purposes of this study, the following definitions were used:
- research: “A process based on the collection, interpretation, and integration of valid, important, and applicable data, information, and knowledge preferably derived from research findings to define the best approach or solution”. (ANA, 2004, 31).
- work setting: A nonmetropolitan county with a population up to 19,999, adjacent or nonadjacent to a metropolitan area (U.S.DA Economic Research Service Continuum, Codes 6-9, 2003) (http://www.ers.U.S.da.gov/Briefing/ity/UrbCon/).
- nursing: “The provision of health care by professional nurses to persons living in sparsely populated areas” (Long & Weinert, 1989; 2006).
- Belief: “A conviction held in the absence of research evidence” (Rawnsley, 2003).
- Attitude: “A mental position with regard to fact or state” (Merrium-Webster Medical Dictionary, 2007).
Significance for Nursing
Understanding nurses’ attitudes and beliefs towards research has potential to contribute meaningfully to nursing knowledge by providing researchers, educators, and other nursing professionals the foundational knowledge to influence nurses’ interest and use of research evidence in practice. Understanding the factors that influence nurses’ will also contribute to our understanding of the uniqueness of nursing. nurses often have a wide variety of responsibilities (Olade, 2003, Scharff, 2006) such as (a) providing primary care for an obstetrical, trauma, cardiac and postoperative patient during a single shift, (b) serving as the cook or the respiratory therapist at times, and (c) perhaps doing a little plumbing on the weekend when no maintenance staff is available. The uniqueness of nursing practice may influence the nurses’ beliefs and or attitudes regarding research and research.
KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDE OF NURSES TOWARDS RESEARCH