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The transition from nursing student to registered nurse can be a challenging one as newly qualified nurses come face-to-face with the real world of practice. More than ever before, universities are aware of the need to help students make this transition by ensuring that classroom learning and assignments are as practically focused as possible.
Developing nursing knowledge by considering theoretical perspectives is undoubtedly important, but clinical practice requires the application of this knowledge and the development of nursing skills, which can only happen in the real world.
Undertaking research also requires the application of theory and the development of practical skills in real-world situations. Those new to research soon learn that research projects seldom progress according to the protocol they might have spent considerable time and effort developing. Researchers soon learn to be flexible and to adapt to the needs of research as it progresses. Like clinical nursing, being a researcher requires the application of theoretical knowledge to a real-world setting in a relationship that does not always feel comfortable.
In this edition of Nurse Researcher the three themed papers demonstrate how the authors managed some complex issues in the real world of research.
Research only really comes to life when there is an opportunity for people to get involved in it. Unfortunately, nursing students seldom have the chance to gain real research experience but instead write limited literature reviews. There are time and logistical reasons why nursing students are unable to plan and undertake research projects, but with a little innovative thinking and some planning it would be possible to offer nursing students some limited experience of research in a real-world situation.
There would surely be greater value for students in gaining even a small amount of research experience rather than writing yet another literature review on pain management. Like all academic departments, faculties of nursing are increasingly being challenged to increase their research activity and outputs. Involving nursing students in research projects could help to develop a research culture that would have benefits for all involved.
Editorial | July 2012 | Volume 19 | Number 4
Nurse Researcher seeks to promote professional excellence and encourage creativity in nursing. Nurse Researcher is editorially independent and the opinions expressed in it are not those of the RCN, nor of any contributor's employing organisation, unless specifically stated. All profits generated by RCN Publishing will be used to benefit nurses and nursing.
Nurse Researcher is dedicated to a specific research method theme, and comprises papers on individual aspects of the method. The journal also contains articles that deal with more diverse research matters.
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