• application strategies;
  • research awareness

This paper describes the views of nurse practitioners regarding the utilization of nursing research in practice and puts forward four major strategies to raise research awareness amongst students and qualified nursing staff. The aims of the study were to describe the extent to which nursing research was being used in practice and secondly the degree of nurses' awareness of current research findings relevant to their daily work. Attention also focused on strategies needed to improve research awareness amongst nurse practitioners. The study was centred on two large district general hospitals, chosen to provide contrasts. Data were collected at two points in time, over a 2½-year period, using in-depth individual and group interviews. The results of the study showed that research awareness amongst many nurses and research utilization in several practice areas were poor despite availability of a number of relevant and well-established nursing research findings. It also showed that resistance to applying nursing research to practice was often high, particularly amongst more senior nursing staff. However, it could be changed if researchers, nursing lecturers and nurse practitioners work jointly together towards promoting nursing research in practice and using: facilitation, support and encouragement; role modelling; consistency; and application in clinical practice.