3rd May 2018

Why should Student Nurses be interested in research?

Guest Blog from Lucy Elliot, 2nd Year Adult Nursing Student – Bangor University.

Born and raised in Llandudno and I have always had a passion and interest in nursing. I thoroughly enjoy studying at Bangor University, the enthusiastic and knowledgeable lecturers, supportive peers and of course, the beautiful and incredible scenery which surrounds Bangor (which doesn’t make it as bad when you have an early lecture!).

When I began my theory lectures, I was introduced to the phrase ‘evidence-based practice’. I became very intrigued how, through research by colleagues, we can essentially implement new practice but also de-implement practices which have been used for several years. After being out in clinical practice, I have noticed and realised, that as professionals we know practices need to change, as times and society change. The beauty of research is to use evidence to see what works and to enhance the quality of care we provide to patients.

So why should students should get involved in research? Well, recently I was very fortunate to gain a place on the Student Leadership programme (#150Leaders) which I thoroughly enjoyed. Having discussions with other student nurses, midwives and other allied health professionals, really gave me a broader view as to how research is vital across all professions in guiding their practice too. I also found what sort of research was interesting for different students, some liked research which proved links in condition progression, others about evidence proven in baby and mother bonds. I felt like it was important to discuss and compare ideas as it’s interesting to explore, and as much as we deny it, sometimes we get stuck in our little bubble of ideas around us. It’s always good to break it and to explore new themes, who knows when we could need these when out in practice? In my time as a student, I’m finding that it is so important and wise to gain experience in research whilst we are students.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council actually specifies the need for nurses to be able to understand and appraise research. In the NMC Standards, 2010, ‘Competencies for entry to the register (Adult Nursing)’ it states that: ‘All nurses must appreciate the value of evidence in practice, be able to understand and appraise research, apply relevant theory and research findings to their work and identify areas for further investigation’. So, what have I been doing to gain some experience in research? Well, I have been lucky to sit in on a meeting with Dr Lynne Williams about an infection prevention study. The findings clearly linked some theory into practice for me, and I began realising how important research and continually developing our own practice is. I am hoping to be able to see more research at work within our School this year. I am also planning to attend an international research summer school this July at Bangor.

The masterclasses on implementation and language awareness really take my interest so hopefully I will gain much more insight into these topics! Lastly, I have been paired up with an incredibly inspirational mentor, within the Student Leadership programme, with whom I hope to discuss research in relation to emergency care nursing as this is hopefully where I would like to be when I register.

To my fellow students, I would say, I understand that this degree is hard work and challenging but so fulfilling at the same time, but take time to read the research around your area of interest. Investing time to read or attend research meetings will develop your practice, thus benefiting your patients and yourself professionally.

Remember: ‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest’ – Benjamin Franklin.