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Keywords:

  • building research capacity;
  • collaboration;
  • lifelong learning;
  • master's qualification;
  • nursing research;
  • qualitative content analysis;
  • R&D Programme

Aims and objectives

To describe clinical nurses' experience of participating in a Research and Development (R&D) programme and its influence on their research interest and ability to conduct and apply nursing research.

Background

To stimulate nurses' research interest and to overcome barriers for building research capacity in nursing, there is a need for sustainable research programmes. A two-year programme was designed for nurses, to take part in both an academic education for master and research seminars and workshops to conduct a research project from idea to publication.

Design

A qualitative approach using using focus group interviews.

Methods

Registered nurses (n = 12) with a bachelor's degree in nursing, participated. Data were collected in focus group interviews, after one year and when the programme ended. Content analysis was used to analyse the data.

Results

The findings consist of two themes: being a traveller in the world of nursing research, which included three categories, and experiencing professional growth as a result of nursing research training, in both cases focusing on the experience of students involved in a cohesive programme which included four categories: discovering new dimensions of clinical nursing practice; selected and confirmed; supported by professional others; development of professional self-concept.

Conclusions

To support early career researchers, there is a need for strong leadership, an organisational and supportive infrastructure underpinning research capability building in nurses. In this context, research strategies, programmes and collaboration between leaders of academia and clinical institutions appear to be essential.

Relevance to clinical practice

The R&D programme illustrates an effective way of stimulating nurses' lifelong learning by building the capacity to conduct and apply nursing research in clinical practice. The structure of the programme can be used as a model in other contexts.