Understanding how research can influence MS nursing practice - MS Nurse PRO
Understanding how research can influence MS nursing practice

Understanding how research can influence MS nursing practice


A dive into Course 7: Understanding how research can influence MS nursing practice

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?

  • It teaches nurses to inquire about things that are said and done, rather than accepting or rejecting them at face value
  • It teaches them to gather evidence for things that are said and done, before making decisions
  • It teaches them to consider alternatives before making decisions
  • In the process, nurses learn to evaluate things that are said and done from the weaknesses and strengths of those arguments or events

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:

  • Reading research reports to develop new skills and to keep up to date on relevant findings that may affect clinical practice
  • Participation in a journal club in a practice setting, involving meetings to discuss and critique research articles
  • Attending research presentations at professional conferences
  • Observing and recording the experiences of patients receiving care
  • Testing out a new procedure of medicine and comparing it with existing treatments
  • Helping to develop an idea for a clinical study
  • Reviewing a proposed research plan and offering clinical expertise to improve the plan
  • Assisting researchers by recruiting potential study participants or collecting research information (e.g., distributing questionnaires to clients)
  • Providing information and advice to patients about participation in studies
  • Discussing the implications and relevance of research findings with patients

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.

Do you want to know more abouy the basics of the research process and the different ways that nurses can become more involved in research projects? Start learning today!

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