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Best practice will get even better

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VOL: 98, ISSUE: 05, PAGE NO: 33

Emma White, BSc, RGN

Increasingly nurses are expected to reflect on and provide evidence for their practice. This needs to be balanced with demanding workloads. It is not possible for nurses to read, assimilate and critique all the relevant material during their working week, just as it would be impossible for nurses to keep up to date with all the heavyweight journals.

Increasingly nurses are expected to reflect on and provide evidence for their practice. This needs to be balanced with demanding workloads. It is not possible for nurses to read, assimilate and critique all the relevant material during their working week, just as it would be impossible for nurses to keep up to date with all the heavyweight journals.

As clinical editor of Nursing Times, my challenge and my mission is to provide a range of articles that will interest nurses working at all levels and at every stage of their careers.

Few people read every article in a magazine, or even every word in an article, but whether you flick through them all or find just one that you read thoroughly then the clinical pages will have served their purpose. And in future, abstracts will provide readers with useful summaries.

Nurses should not be deterred from using articles that appear in NT as a reference in their work. NT has been undervalued as a reference source by some academics, even though many of our clinical articles are written by academics. We want nurses to be able to acknowledge where they obtained their material.

NT's clinical articles are intended to be accessible and readable, and they are externally reviewed by experts. Our aim is to support and contribute to excellent nursing practice, and for this reason clinical articles always highlight key implications for practice.

Even the very best piece of research will be redundant if it is not accessible and if it has no practical impact. Research that addresses nursing practice must be part of any national strategy for evidence-based nursing. It must be developed by those in clinical practice, with the support of nurses in academic settings.

The groups that formulate national strategy tend to exclude nurses working in clinical practice and are made up of high-level 'usual suspects'. But these authors are remote from real practice. Don't let the academics tell you what research needs to be done: you should be telling them.

Nurses are bombarded with guidelines from government bodies telling nurses what they should be implementing. But non-governmental professional organisations also produce their own guidance, and it is not always clear to nurses whether or not these have to be followed. My intention is that NT's clinical pages will act as an independent guide for nurses, sifting out useful and practical information.

The potential of these pages is also in your hands. We welcome articles on practice development, research and case studies from all health professionals. In this age of multiprofessional working we need to share our information.

Nurses need to take their practice further to find new and better ways of caring for patients. Getting published in our clinical pages is an excellent way of taking you, and your nursing care, that step further.

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