Nursing research in the National Health Service : activity, strategies and organisational models
In this study, nursing research activity and support for this within the English National Health Service (NHS) were examined. The study was carried out in two phases. The first phase involved working with one acute NHS trust to identify nursing research activity in the trust and to develop its nursing research strategy. The second involved working with five NHS trusts to explore nursing research activity and analyse support for nursing research within these organisations. The professional, educational and policy-related issues that set the context for the study were examined. The literature review for Phase 1 highlighted the fact that there were few accounts of the development of R&D strategies in the NHS. There were perceived barriers to the utilisation and undertaking of research in clinical settings. The importance and nature of organisational support in achieving an evidence-based culture was highlighted. The literature was further reviewed for Phase 2 and this reported that many changes in policy and local processes for R&D management had occurred during the last decade and showed that these, along with professional developments in nursing, have had an impact on nursing research activity. The study was a mixed methods investigation. Phase 1 was a survey using a questionnaire to collect data. Phase 2 used an organisational case-study approach. Data were gathered using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Although the main focus of the work was the role of organisational support for nursing research, what emerged has wider consequences for nursing research and the experiences of the researchers, as many other factors were found that influence nursing research activity in clinical settings. A global model of factors influencing nursing research activity was therefore constructed to account for these findings. This study has contributed to knowledge about nursing research in clinical settings. It has identified some organisational models of research support for nurses and has provided in-depth accounts of the perceptions of various groups towards nursing research. It has also analysed the perceptions and experiences of nurses undertaking research in the clinical setting. These have been represented in a global model of factors influencing nursing research activity.