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Nursing in the public sphere: breaching the boundary between research and policy

Authors


Elizabeth West, Senior Research Fellow, Royal College of Nursing Institute, Radcliffe Infirmary, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX1 6HE, England.

Abstract

Nursing in the public sphere: breaching the boundary between research and policy

Nurses and nursing are associated traditionally with activities in a private sphere. This paper argues that, if clinical care is to be improved, nurses need to take a more active public role in making and implementing health policy at both local and national levels. In the current climate, empirical evidence is one of the most important tools for influencing health policy. This paper discusses contemporary models of the policy-making process before outlining a number of strategies that could be used to increase the policy impact of nursing research. Finally, while the current climate in the United Kingdom health-care arena presents opportunities for researchers to have an impact on policy, the growth of health policy research as a distinct field of scholarship also poses a number of challenges and dangers.

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