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Vicki Cope

Edith Cowan University, Australia

Title: Research findings: Knowledge exchange in the abstract

Biography

Vicki Cope is a general trained nurse and midwife with a background in teaching, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Nursing, a Master of Health Science (Nursing) and a PhD focusing on resilience in nursing. She has previously co-coordinated a national research study within Western Australia, and was Manager Practice at the Nurses Board of Western Australia (NBWA) for five years. Vicki has taught in nursing and midwifery and her research interests include resilience, qualitative research methodologies, professionalism, law and ethics and the maintenance of professional standards in nursing and midwifery through continuing professional competence. Vicki has published articles on undergraduate leadership education, Engagement with communities by University's and the need for sound educational advice from academics to students. Vicki is currently employed as the Research and Higher Degree Coordinator at Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing Australia (RCNA) and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau (STTI) and the Australian College of Nursing (CAN).

Abstract

Nurses working in the clinical setting are not utilizing research findings to guide their clinical practice. It may be contended that the reason for this is that the dissemination modes used to inform nurses of research findings, namely research articles, are difficult to read and understand and therefore not used to change or innovate nursing practice in the clinical setting. Change management practices recommend the used of communication to effect change and the basis of any communication is a shared language: that is, a language that is shared and understood by all within a given context. Th e context in this case being nursing research. Language is a complex, learned and culturally determined behavior that reflects and reifies the dominant discourse. Th e issue for "normal” nurses is that the language of research does not fit within current nursing culture and therefore is simply" not understood" with ease. It may also be asserted that language as a powerful discursive tool perpetuates the difference between nurse academics and nurses who have chosen to remain at the bedside. Th us, the vocabulary of research is suspended between the objective spheres of nursing academia and subjective sides of nursing in such a manner that the language of nursing research displays an intrinsic ambiguity. Thus, the knowledge exchange required to apply research findings in the clinical setting is hindered. This paper depicts the responses given by nurses when asked "what barriers prevent you from understanding and using research findings in your work?" and concludes by offering solutions to barriers identified. In short, nurses identified that a common user friendly language is required to ensure that research is applied in the clinical setting by "normal" "bedside" nurses.

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