Title. Scholarly nursing practice from the perspectives of experienced nurses
Aim. This paper is a report of a study to describe scholarly nursing practice from the perspectives of experienced nurses.
Background. Theoretically, nursing scholarship has been well-described in the literature and flourishes in academic environments. Nursing organizations and nurse leaders worldwide have embraced the value of and need for scholarship to advance the profession. However, the concept of scholarship has yet to be empirically examined within the practice setting from the perspectives of experienced nurses.
Method. A qualitative descriptive research design was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 36 experienced nurses purposively sampled from four acute care hospitals in north-eastern United States of America. The focus of the interviews was to understand how these nurses viewed themselves and their practice. The data were collected between 2004 and 2006 and analysed using content analysis.
Findings. Participants clearly articulated personal attributes and professional behaviours that characterized scholarly nursing practice. Two overarching inter-related categories emerged: ‘Who I Am’ and ‘What I Do’. Themes within ‘Who I Am’ were Active Learner, Out of the Box Thinker, Passionate about Nursing, Available and Confident. Themes within ‘What I Do’ were Being a Leader, Caring, Sharing Knowledge with Others, Evolving and Reflecting on Practice.
Conclusion: Scholarly nursing practice needs to be empirically examined worldwide. Additional studies should focus on scholarly nursing practice with nurses in varying stages of career development, in various types of practice settings, and in different cultures.