More research is needed on key issues, says RCN head

RCN general secretary Janet Davies argues more evidence is needed to answer biq questions which face nursing

Developing robust evidence is key to addressing nursing issues, including safe staffing and plans to introduce a nursing associate role, says RCN general secretary Janet Davies.

Ms Davies was responding to criticism she received on Twitter about comments she had made at a conference in Manchester on April 20.

The RCN head said she used the Changing Strategic Context: Leading the nursing contribution event, organised by NHS England and the RCN, to argue that the profession’s response to key issues would be more effective if there was robust evidence.

Her comments attracted some negative responses arguing that she had downplayed the contribution of nursing research.

Speaking at the RCN Council meeting in London on April 28, Ms Davies said: ‘My point was we need more research, and we need it to be taken seriously. It is good to get people talking, and I was throwing it out there as a bit of a challenge.

‘I did not think people would say “Janet Davies is not supporting research”.’

In her blog responding to criticisms, she said that she had also argued for an improvement in how existing evidence is made more accessible, and less likely to be overlooked. She said if there was more evidence, the safe staffing legislation in Wales could be widened from the acute sector to mental health, paediatrics and community settings. 

 ‘Research funding and priorities are dominated by the medical profession – we need to find ways to challenge this if we are going to be able to answer the big questions that matter for nursing, and to ensure we are listened to,’ she added.

Read the full blog post here