Reviews

Nursing research in context: appreciation, application and professional development

Let’s begin with what this book is not. This is, strictly speaking, not a ‘how to do research’ type book. It will not introduce the new researcher to the various research paradigms, nor will it explore the research process. This book will not take the reader through the different ‘ologies’ and ‘ographies’ to be found in research in any depth; neither will it examine, in detail, an assortment of different research methods that might be employed by a would be researcher.

However, taking a broader view, this text remains extremely valuable. As the title suggests, the aim of this book is to set nursing research in context. It seeks to ‘enable students and qualified professionals in the health services to develop and awareness and appreciation of research, to understand the policy context, and to appreciate the implications for their own professional development’.

The editors are well-known nurses with a proven track record in publishing, education and research. They have called together a strong team of contributors most of whom are UK-based, and, therefore, this text has a real sense of relevance for UK nurses and researchers.

The book is organised in two parts. The first part focuses on ‘policy and professional considerations’, with the first two chapters placing these within the context of clinical research and the central concern of building research capacity. Chapter three goes on

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However, taking a broader view, this text remains extremely valuable. As the title suggests, the aim of this book is to set nursing research in context. It seeks to ‘enable students and qualified professionals in the health services to develop and awareness and appreciation of research, to understand the policy context, and to appreciate the implications for their own professional development’.

The editors are well-known nurses with a proven track record in publishing, education and research. They have called together a strong team of contributors most of whom are UK-based, and, therefore, this text has a real sense of relevance for UK nurses and researchers.

The book is organised in two parts. The first part focuses on ‘policy and professional considerations’, with the first two chapters placing these within the context of clinical research and the central concern of building research capacity. Chapter three goes on to set the context of nursing research within a wider international perspective. It highlights the importance of global collaboration. Chapter four considers the skills required to appreciate and critique research and chapter five is more practical in orientation as it examines the challenges to conducting research in a clinical environment.

Part II takes as its focus ‘professional development for careers in research’. Chapter six, rightly in my opinion, argues for the importance of doctoral education if nursing is to achieve significant benefits for patients. Chapters seven and eight consider issues relevant to building one’s own professional profile and developing a career in research. Chapter seven does this through the use of case studies in which a number of contributors reflect on their own research journey.

Chapters nine and ten both deal with writing; the first with writing grant applications and the second with writing for publication. Both chapters provide some useful guidance.

Finally, the book finishes with some ‘crystal ball’ gazing by the editors as they look at the future of nursing research. They argue strongly that the future of nursing depends upon research-based practice; on nurses developing effective, visible leadership skills; and on nurses taking ownership and responsibility for the future.

This text is thought provoking and yet within reach of all nurses. It brings policy and practice together in a very effective way. My only criticism is that in a postdevolution UK the text can be a bit Anglocentric in places. Health is a devolved responsibility and authors need to ensure that their work reflects this.

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