Nursing research needs to be more scientific if it is to help nurses change practice and improve patient outcomes, according to one of the country’s leading nurse academics.
Anne-Marie Rafferty, dean of the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery at King’s College London, said: “Nurses need to have command of their subject to be able to challenge practice and the only way to do this is with a solid knowledge base.”
Professor Rafferty, who is a member of the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery, also called for more investment in nursing research.
“There is a greater volume of data in medical research because there is a greater wealth of investment compared to nursing research. Investment in nursing research needs to be hugely up-scaled,” she told Nursing Times during an event at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital last week to celebrate the centenary year of the death of Florence Nightingale.
Professor Rafferty also said that the medical and nursing professions should coordinate their research work more closely. “We should not think of nursing and medicine as being separate when it comes to research or having competing constituencies,” she said.