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Doing Nursing Praxis Research in New Zealand
Annette Street, PhD., Post-Graduate Co-ordinator, School of Nursing, La Trobe University, Melbourne
Chris Walsh, RPN, RGON, B.A., M.A. (Applied) (Soc. Sci.Research) Lecturer in Rehabilitation Studies, Victoria University, Wellington.
Reference: Street, A. & Walsh, C. (1995). Doing Nursing Praxis Research in New Zealand Nursing Praxis in New Zealand 10(3), 16-23
This paper explores some of the issues we encountered while conducting funded nursing praxis research in New Zealand (Street & Walsh, 1995). Out intention is to address some of the areas which are generally taken for granted by experienced researchers but cause concern for novice or intending researchers. Texts on praxis research usually provide either theoretical explanations (Carr & Kemmis, 1986; Holmes, 1993; lather, 1991; Thompson, 1993), reports of completed studies (Stanley, 1990), or projects which are not easily funded by major health funders (Thompson, 1991; Wheeler & Chinn, 1991). Data collection, management and analytical strategies are well covered in nursing research text books, however there are many details which are not discussed that can make doing research confusing and frustrating. Too often research ‘decision trails’ make research look like a straightforward linear process and novice researchers become discouraged when their own study begins to appear like a series of sidetracks. Many textbooks are written for the North American or English cultures where nursing research patterns are well established and the health systems are different to those in New Zealand. Praxis research requires the investigators not only to reflect on the study topic but also on their research processes in the local context (Street, 1995). This paper recounts some experiences of the more hidden processes involved in doing a funded praxis project which explored the issues for mental health nurses who had been appointed to the newly-created role of Duly Authorised Officer (DAO).