Journal of Professional Nursing

The Pursuit of Nursing Excellence through Practitioner based Research Utilisation

John McArthur, RGON, Grad. Dip. Adv. Nurs. Pract. (Neurosciences), MCNA (N.Z.)
Thomas Harding, RGON, F.N., M.Sc.

Reference:  McArthur, J. & Harding, T. (1996). The Pursuit of Nursing Excellence through Practitioner-based Research Utilisation. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 11(1), 27-31.


This paper is a review of the literature used in the initial stages of the nursing research utilization project at Auckland Hospital.  This process involved a group of six nursing consultants functioning as a steering group.  It also involved the Nursing Practice Committee which has reformulated the role of the unit nursing quality committees known as ‘Nursing Focus Groups”, to include research utilization as a tool for improving patient outcomes.  Through these and other processes we hoped to create and sustain an environment that supported a climate of critical inquiry into nursing practice.  The paper outlines the context of the nursing service’s vision statement, then examines the gap between research findings and their use in clinical practice.  This gap is deconstructed to open us to the imperative of using research in nursing practice.  The concept of research utilization is explored and operationally defined within our hospital’s research utilization model.  It is concluded that research utilization as a process is a major step towards providing excellence in nursing care.  Research utilization is one way of assisting in the continuous improvement of patient care and thus may improve the health outcomes of patients.  The goal of improving health outcomes is an important consideration in a healthcare environment that increasingly judges the process of care delivery by the end results of that care (i.e., health outcomes and cost).

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