Research is vital in order to develop new innovations to improve ways of working, and nurses are becoming increasingly involved in research in different ways and using different methods. Despite this increased involvement, it is important to recognise that many nurses in clinical practice have only a basic idea of what research involves, with minimal experience of completing an original research project and no clear understanding of what their role in research might be. An understanding of nursing research can improve the depth and breadth of every nurse’s professional practice.
Why is research important for nurses?
The goal of research is to improve the lives of people with MS; therefore, it is vital that nurses engaging in clinical research are willing to understand clinical issues and explore the problems that need solving. Nursing research has provided valuable information about caring for people with MS and MS nurses can use this information in practical ways to gain perspective on their patients’ physical and emotional status and to encourage wellness, health-seeking strategies, and empowerment.
Nursing research activities can include:
Findings from research studies can help broaden nurses’ knowledge in MS and improve professional practice. Vast amounts of information are available within the environment of MS nursing practice, and research has the potential to provide valuable, practical information that can enhance the lives of people affected by MS.
Nursing research offers many benefits, both for people with MS and for the nurses taking part in the research:
Improves nursing activities, interventions or approaches to enhance professional practice
Helps improve patient outcomes, reducing the length of stay in hospitals and costs
Can help improve quality of life of nurses, along with their work environment and health
Ensures nursing practice remains relevant and supportive.