Editorial

Making space for reflection

Clinicians and researchers often say they do not have time to reflect. Although we are all busy, taking the time to stop and consider where you are and where you want to be can act as a powerful tool in planning your career.

Clinicians and researchers often say they do not have time to reflect. Although we are all busy, taking the time to stop and consider where you are and where you want to be can act as a powerful tool in planning your career.

What should you consider? It is vital to understand your research passion. We all engage in projects that are serendipitous, but it is important to develop a clear track record to gain expertise in particular areas. Think about what drives your passion. Articulate this focus, so you and others are clear about the scope of your research. Look back at what you achieved in 2015. What are your priorities for this year?

We must stand proud of our profession and achievements in addressing contemporary research problems in a meaningful way

Successful researchers rarely work in isolation. They surround themselves with hard-working, skilled people, as well as promising novice researchers and students who share a common focus. Consider your own environment. Are you part of a research team? Do you have a mentor or critical peers? Can you mentor others? What steps can you take to enhance your environment?

Research teams do not have to be from a single institution; successful teams can operate despite being geographically dispersed, even internationally. What is important is that team members ‘fit’; they should have complementary skills, share a common research focus, and be prepared to contribute to projects.

Reflect on how we nurse researchers support our colleagues. We could do more to nurture research students and novice researchers. Building the capacity of new researchers is the future. Investing time in mentoring, supporting and guiding should be a priority. We should celebrate their achievements and assist them in career planning.

As you reflect, consider your identity as a nurse. Multidisciplinary research allows you to work across disciplines to solve complex problems, expand horizons and build partnerships. However, we must retain our identity as nurses and stand proud of our profession and achievements in addressing contemporary research problems in a meaningful way.

Professional networking is essential. Nurse Researcher is pleased to support the RCN International Nursing Research Conference in Edinburgh this April. The event offers exciting presentations and symposia, as well as the chance to network with nurse researchers at all stages of their career. I look forward to meeting our readers there and hearing about their research.

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