Indicators for nursing practice: the use of research findings*


  • *

    Based on a paper read at the Second International Cancer Nursing Conference held in London. 1-5 September 1980.


Until recently discussion about nursing research centred on the need to get it carried out. Attention is now being focused on how to get nursing research used, since so far, such research findings have not, on the whole, been assimilated into practice. Until this occurs the practice of nursing will not and cannot be research-based in any meaningful way. It is postulated that nursing research findings provide nurses with indicators for practice. This assumes that such findings are available and that the main barrier to their use is the poor communication of this research, (in a form they can understand) to nurse practitioners. However recent research into the use of research findings casts doubt on this assumption and it can be argued that such a view is too simplistic. In this paper therefore, three questions are asked: (1) Are relevant nursing research findings available which provide indicators for practice? (2) What indicators do such findings provide? (3) Are such findings used by nurse-practitioners?

Using specific examples from nursing research, ideas and suggestions are put forward which provide a basis for possible answers. Finally the paper discusses the interdependence of research and practice and the need for them to develop together.