The main responsibility for all universities offering nursing degrees is to prepare students to deliver the best possible practice to patients. There are a number of different ways to do this, but one that student nurses in particular would like to see is a renewed focus on research in pre-registration studies.
This comes from a new report prepared by the Council of Deans of Health, the organisation representing university faculties engaged in education and research for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals. As part of preparing this, the Council surveyed 109 nursing students from the University of Stirling.
Over half of the respondents said they enjoyed learning about research, while around 70 per cent said they thought research was relevant to their pre-registration training. Almost 75 per cent agreed they understood the link between clinical practice and research. However, only 13 per cent said their higher education institution was preparing them very well to be research-informed.
When asked what barriers were in the way of them better understanding the world of research, 29 per cent pointed their fingers at a lack of available support, while 39 per cent said their other academic demands were more pressing. However, the main complaint - echoed by 47 per cent of respondents - was that they did not obtain enough understanding of research as part of their programme.
Professor Brendan McCormack, executive member for research with the Council of Deans of Health, said: “All healthcare professionals need to have foundational understanding of the role of research in assessing, evaluating and improving practice, and universities play a crucial role in equipping the future workforce with the skills and confidence to apply and produce evidence.”
One solution to this, according to Professor McCormack, is to use collaborations between universities and practice partners to give nursing students more opportunities to learn about research and how it informs practice.
Written by James Puckle
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