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Putting nursing research findings into practice: research utilization as an aspect of the management of change*


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    Based on a paper read at a colloquim arranged by the Chief Nursing Officer in Wales in February 1989 for senior nursing managers and educators.

Jillian M. MacGuire,
School of Nursing Studies,
University of Wales College of Medicine,
Heath Park,


This paper discusses a number of different levels at which the implementation of nursing research findings needs to be addressed and identifies 10 areas of potential difficulty: the complexity of the change process, the genesis of research programmes, the formulation of research questions, differences in theoretical approaches, timescales and planning cycles, information overload, credibility, applicability, response to change and the management of change. An attempt is made to shift the nature of the discourse from the personal to the organizational and from a diffusionist perspective to that of change management. It is suggested that it is simplistic to regard the apparent lack of take-up of research-based practice findings as a failure on the part of individual nurses to respond rationally to the production of new information. The integration of research and practice has to be addressed at all levels within an organization; from policy statements to procedure manuals and from managers, educators and clinicians to support workers within the framework of the management of change. The potential of action research and quality circles in this context is touched on.