Nursing research is crucial to the effective delivery of care and to the role and status of the nursing profession. All branches of the nursing profession are undergoing a period of rapid change that is redefining their role and relationship with the health care and educational systems. Nursing research reflects this dynamic situation in which established practices and values are questioned. Although ‘nursing research’ and ‘nurse researcher’ are commonly used terms, their meaning is unclear. The authors believe that the title nurse researcher applies equally to nurses who undertake research and researchers who may not be qualified nurses but are investigating nursing issues. This highlights the need for researchers to become familiar with the culture and practice of nursing and for nurses to understand research and the theories behind particular techniques. These definitions are congruent with the multidisciplinary nature of much nursing research and accept that nurse researchers, whatever their background, must produce high-quality, rigorous studies if they are to have an impact on the delivery of care. It also implies that the boundaries around what constitutes nursing research are blurred. Like the discipline of nursing itself, nursing research embraces a range of methods, sciences and epistemologies. This eclecticism is reflected in both the contents and contributors to this book.
KeywordsNursing Research Health Service Research Nurse Education Professional Status Nursing Profession
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