Author testimonial: sharing evidence and improving practice and patient care
Publishing in scientific and academic journals is an important responsibility of academics and researchers as well as practitioners. It help us to share information about best, innovative, effective and economical nursing practices with colleagues working in the field.
Evidence-based practice is vital to contemporary nursing and to health and social care practice more generally, but there is much research that suggests it is less widespread than it should be. One reason may be that front-line practitioners do not always have the appropriate support, time, knowledge and skills to search, retrieve and review available evidence. In addition, articles published in academic and scientific journals are not always written for practitioner audiences.
Making research accessible to front-line staff
There is a need to provide the latest evidence in an accessible format and this is where the role of journals such as those published by RCNi becomes significant. Articles in RCNi journals tend to be shorter in length and are written in accessible language specifically so that practitioners working in particular clinical fields recognise their relevance to practice immediately. As a result, practitioners can keep themselves updated about current evidence about relevant practices so they can improve care provision.
A glance over recent issues of Emergency Nurse, where I published an article with my colleagues, shows the breadth of topics covered in the journal, from perceptions of the nurse practitioner's role to managing hypopituitarism in emergency departments. These articles provide nurses with an opportunity to reflect on their understanding of such issues, and help them develop their knowledge further. Another example is our article, which was aimed to help nurses identify signs of intimate partner violence in emergency and urgent care settings. There is evidence to suggest that healthcare professionals, including nurses, are poorly prepared to identify patients experiencing domestic violence and manage them appropriately. However, there are few resources for them to refer to and articles such as ours provide nurses with a much needed accessible resource that helps them review the salient issues.
Keeping up to date
There are many other sections of the RCNi journals that also provide readers with a wealth of information, for example about recently published books, practitioners' opinions and news. This means that nurses have a chance to read about the variety of issues and clinical situations they are likely to encounter in their clinical settings.
Personally speaking, publishing in a journal such as Emergency Nurse has provided my colleagues, Julie McGarry and Katie Dhingra, and me with a great opportunity to share our work about domestic violence in simple and easy-to-understand language.
I believe that doing so can help my colleagues in academic or clinical settings, as well as nursing students, to disseminate the findings of their research and scholarly work to front-line practitioners thereby increasing the impact of their work more quickly.
About the author
Parveen Ali is a lecturer at the University of Sheffield School of Nursing and Midwifery