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Translating Research Into Patient Care

As a nurse, you may wonder what nursing research has to do with you and your daily nursing practice. You likely know that research results are applied to the way you practice every day, but you may think that is where the relationship ends. However, nursing research directly relates to you in many ways.

Importance of Research

The nursing profession relies on research to shape the way patients are treated. For example, evidence-based practice (EBP) is common in the United States. EBP is the practice of nursing in which research provides evidence that guides the daily practice of nursing. Here are a few examples of evidence-based practice:

  • Infection control: Nurses follow set guidelines to prevent and control infections in clinical settings.
  • Catheters: Nurses use specific intravenous (IV) catheter sizes, based on what the research has shown and guidelines it has produced.
  • Oxygen administration: Nurses administer oxygen to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients based on research.

The goal, in terms of applying research such as EBP, is to improve patient care, patient satisfaction and quality of life while also reducing costs. Research provides direction for nurses’ daily practice and solutions that are in the best interest of the patient. Today, EBP is a large part of the nursing profession, so nurses need to be familiar with it.

How Research Translates Into Better Patient Care

Nurses who incorporate EBP into their everyday practice are able to provide better patient care. This is because patient care is based on the information or evidence found through research. Healthcare research allows scientists and others to develop new strategies that promote wellness as well as treat illnesses and injuries. These strategies have been shown to improve health and overall quality of life.

Becoming Better at Research

No matter how much experience you have with nursing research, it is always possible to improve. Here are some key ways for doing that:

Hands-on experience. You learn by doing, so make sure you do plenty of it on an ongoing basis. You can find ways to become more involved in research through your job, so ask your supervisor or coworkers if they know of opportunities.

Back to the basics. The first step is developing a question that will become the research topic. Because this first step is so important, you should strive to become better at asking the right questions.

Mentoring. Collaborate with someone who has much more experience than you do. Follow along as they do various research projects.

Ask questions. One way you become better at anything is by asking questions. Do not hesitate to ask your mentor or any other expert any questions you have.

Write about it. While you are in the midst of a research project, write about it as much as possible. Take copious notes and make sure to set goals in writing.

Ongoing education. Education programs like an accredited online RN to MSN program will give you a great introduction to nursing research. This type of program is excellent for people who want to keep working in the nursing profession while pursuing a master’s degree.

New nursing research information is being published all the time, and the research is ongoing. Even if you’re busy, making time to keep up with the latest in nursing research can prove to be a valuable investment in your career.

Learn more about the UTA online RN to MSN program.


Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN): Evidence-Based Practice

Healio Rheumatology: Nursing research starts with questions, passion and open mind

Online Journal of Issues in Nursing: The Impact of Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing and the Next Big Ideas

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