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Keywords:

  • Education;
  • Healthcare Policy;
  • Knowledge Utilization;
  • Management;
  • Network-Focused Nursing;
  • Research Application;
  • Social Network;
  • Social Support

Aim

To discuss the complexities of moving research into practice and through a case example, explore how empirical findings from one specific study could be applied to nursing in other contexts.

Background

The processes of moving research findings into practice are complex and multidimensional. In this paper, an innovative approach to social support, network-focused nursing (NFN), is used as a case example to illustrate these complexities. Social support is associated with better recovery and survival after illness and based on this, a NFN programme was developed in a Danish oncology youth unit. Subsequently, a research study was undertaken to investigate the programme and based on the findings, the concept NFN was developed.

Methods

A knowledge utilization framework is used to explore how empirical findings from the NFN study could be applied to nursing more generally. Aligned with this, the specific considerations for implementing NFN are explicated.

Discussion

Strong leadership, education, management support and effective communication are critical factors for research utilization. Moving research into practice requires openness to new ideas. Nursing and healthcare policies therefore need to support environments in which creativity and innovation can flourish. NFN was developed in teenager and young adult cancer care, but its principles may be transferable to other clinical environments.

Conclusions

It is important that nurse managers and policy makers ensure that support and education are available to nurses to facilitate moving research into practice. Moreover, resources need to be considered, particularly in countries where financial and organizational infrastructures may be weak.