Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Providing Hands-On Experiences in Health Care Research to Mentor New Research Scholars

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Providing Hands-On Experiences in Health Care Research to Mentor New Research Scholars

Article excerpt

Abstract

AIM This article describes the benefits of integrating students into a National Institutes of Health-funded research project.

BACKGROUND Research is important in all academic disciplines for increasing knowledge and determining the effectiveness of currently used interventions. Educating nursing students to read, evaluate, and use research in practice is essential for solving complex health care challenges and achieving better patient outcomes

METHOD The students were involved at all levels of the research process: project development, site acquisition, recruitment of participants, data collection and analysis, and manuscript development. Interviews of the student researchers were conducted to understand the students' experience of participation in the research study.

RESULTS Three themes were identified: creating new knowledge is worthwhile, research is interesting and meaningful, and research can shape practice.

CONCLUSION Promoting knowledge and experience by involving students in research projects can create a bridge to the development of evidence-based practice.

KEYWORDS Education Strategies--Mentoring--Health Care Research--Nurse Scholarship--Interdisciplinary Education

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Research is important in all academic disciplines for increasing knowledge and determining the effectiveness of currently used interventions (Birtey & Moreland, 2013). Educating nursing students to effectively read, evaluate, and use research in practice is essential for solving complex health care challenges and achieving better patient outcomes (Hall, Feng, Moser, Stokols, & Taylor, 2008). For students in doctoral programs in nursing, attention must be paid in educating potential scholars to participate in research teams that focus on diverse patient populations that include older adults (Sanchez et al., 2011).

This article describes the benefits of integrating students into a research project funded by the National Institutes of Health Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15) mechanism. Focus groups involving the student researchers were used to obtain information regarding the experience of participation in the research study.

MENTORING RESEARCH SCHOLARS

Although mentoring students to comprehend the many aspects of research is an important characteristic of the education for all health care providers (Buddeberg-Fischer & Herta, 2CXD6; Hall et al., 2008), it is estimated that only 10 percent of health care providers consistently Implement evidence-based knowledge into practice (Krugman, 2012). According to Krugman, it often takes decades before research findings are translated into practice. One of the many reasons that research findings lag In implementation is that health care providers do not feel competent to read, understand, or embrace research findings.

Although almost all students understand the clinical roles for which they are educated, many do not understand the importance of research and evidence as a basis for practice (Birley & Moreland, 2013; Moch & Lonsdorf, 2014). Students often feel detached from research, believing that it is limited to those who seek academic careers. Educators, researchers, providers, and funding agencies have called for increased exposure to research in clinical education as well as mentoring and support to increase students' awareness and understanding of the relevance of evidence-based practice (Sanchez et al., 2011; Stewart et al., 2010).

In an effort to support the education of research scholars, students were recruited for all aspects of this research process and participated fully in the research project. The funding mechanism for the grant was an Academic Research Enhancement award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This award, originally introduced in 1985, is an NIH-wide program designed to provide up to 3 years of renewable funding of meritorious research at less research-intensive institutions. …

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