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  #11  
Old 12-16-2007, 05:27 PM
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I have a masters but I doubt any patient would or should be able to tell the difference between me with a masters or me as an RN. This is because there is a difference between the practical art of nursing, and the way you apply any evidence, theory or whatever. As PJ says nurses with experience should be carrying out research, they should be writing academic papers for others to read and they should be creating theory. But at the same time they need to be credible as nurses and no Phd or masters is required for that.
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Old 12-16-2007, 06:38 PM
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The reason for the lack of nursing research is that nurses don't have the respect of the larger medical community.
Not sure I agree with you. I see nursing research in major peer reviewed journals like The Gerontologist, Oncology, even NEJM. I do think we need to work harder to get out of "Nursing Ghettos" and publish in other places....and remember, no matter what it still takes 10-17 years for research to be translated to practice (will be interesting to see if the new translational research will make a difference). Also interesting to see if there is more truly interdisciplinary research done

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Australian nurses are still bitching about the nursing going into the Universities (about 13 years ago) since then the amount of nursing research as increased, but the people who should be doing the research are not the new grads who don't know where the research should be done, but the older nurses who have been in the industry for years.
I've been a nurse for 5 years. I graduated with my BS and started my PhD program. I've been working (albeit part time) since I got my license. My school emphasized clinically relevant research. My program also included what they called a research practicum -- something that allows one to go into an environment and through observation and talking with people develop some idea of what are the issues. Yes, work keeps opening my thinking (the palliative care fellowship has been a major eye opener), but so does talking with other nurse scientists, as well as being in a place where we always ask "so what?" as in so why is this important now? not just 'cause no one has looked at it, but because it's an issue that has an impact on the care that people get.

Then again, I started nursing school in my 40's so I think I can safely say that my life experience also influenced my ability to extrapolate from the clinical setting.

And then there is CBPR community based participatory research--if you truly, equally involve the people who wish to research, you'll do a lot better job at doing relevant work -- not to mention getting buy-in and getting better responses.

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People are graduating from Universities with PhD or Masters and expecting to be payed accordingly, but employers are looking at their experiences and they have none (in the field) so after a 4 year degree, and then masters, then Doctorate you are still going to be payed as a grad. It is suggested that people graduate, work for a year (our grad year) then help with research until they are ready to return and do a masters, and then you will get the pay rise with the masters after the year.
If I'm working on the floor or in a clinic as a traditional nurse, then I don't expect to get paid more for more education vs. experience. If I'm teaching, yeah, I'd expect to get paid more for a PhD than a Masters. If I'm doing advanced practice nursing, where I'm responsible for diagnosis and treatment decisions, yeah, I expect to be paid more than for direct-care nursing, but I also expect to get the training that makes me safe in the position.

Of course, the final irony is that if you do work as a direct-care nurse in certain markets for long enough you will make more than as a professor in a tenure track position. For me it was a combination of things: As a middle-aged woman, I knew I couldn't do 20 years of floor work without it killing me, combined with a strong tendency to asking questions and wanting to find answers and being addicted to scholarship. I did plan, originally in getting a masters (CNS, certified nurse specialist, a clinical degree) but my school dropped all of their masters-level programming except for three NP programs: Family NP, Psych NP, and Nurse-midwifery. I was on a research training scholarship that would not pay for 2+ years of advanced clinical training. Yes, I wish I could have gotten the MS, but that wasn't how the cards played out.

And I'm a damn good nurse -- my peers, my supervisors, my adviser, my patients and my patients' families have told me so.
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Old 12-16-2007, 06:45 PM
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I have a masters but I doubt any patient would or should be able to tell the difference between me with a masters or me as an RN. This is because there is a difference between the practical art of nursing, and the way you apply any evidence, theory or whatever. As PJ says nurses with experience should be carrying out research, they should be writing academic papers for others to read and they should be creating theory. But at the same time they need to be credible as nurses and no Phd or masters is required for that.
And no AD or BS trained nurse is going to be credible as a researcher. There's a lot more to being able to design a good study, analyze the results and disseminate the findings then is learned as an undergrad. There are places that have developed programs to have research performed by direct-care nurses: most of it is replication work, which is important, or comes pretty darn close to QI/QA work, which is not to say it isn't important. But they are guided in their work by at least an MS.

And lets not even get into getting funding research w/o the appropriate bona fides...

And we won't even go into
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  #14  
Old 12-17-2007, 02:42 AM
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I know things in the US are different to the UK but there is a difference between 'training' and 'education'. You can be an ordinary RN with a bachelors and a masters degree, whether that is in nursing or something else is irrelevant to your ability to design and conduct research. You only have to read these boards to see there are highly qualified people (in terms of academia) who then go onto become nurses.
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  #15  
Old 12-17-2007, 10:07 PM
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Julie,

I don't think we're necessarily disagreeing. If your comment about training refers to my comment regarding advanced practice nursing, I might have been sloppy with my language, but I think I was referring to extra experience under supervision in order to act as a primary care provider.

I know people who came into their bachelors nursing programs with a masters degree, and depending on the degree, it prepared them for some things not others. One had a counseling degree and she went the direct-entry track to become a Psych NP. Another had a masters in english lit and a background in teaching. She probably could move into a nursing education role, but not necessarily a research role role. I've known bench scientists who came back and got an RN, but they still would need to be educated in research before they could do independent research (or at least before they were likely to be funded). Hell, even MDs, if they want to research need to get a PhD.

There needs to be all the elements to do good research: the interest, the understanding of the field, the education in research theory, methods, methodology and epistemology, and, I believe the temperament to be able to deal with the iterative, and painstaking process. It's not about intelligence per se -- you don't have to look any further that some of the clearly very intelligent people are this board who have said they have absolutely no interest in research so see that. I think you have to have a certain amount of the "curious elephant child" in you, and you have to have a certain kind of persistence, and you have to be in an atmosphere that nurtures those characteristics.
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Old 12-18-2007, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Marachne View Post
Julie,
I don't think we're necessarily disagreeing.
I don't think we are either, between our three different countries, different nursing programs, and research opportunities; I think we are all agreeing.

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If your comment about training refers to my comment regarding advanced practice nursing,....There needs to be all the elements to do good research: the interest, the understanding of the field, the education in research theory, methods, methodology and epistemology, and, I believe the temperament to be able to deal with the iterative, and painstaking process.
This is what I think we are all agreeing on.

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I've known bench scientists who came back and got an RN, but they still would need to be educated in research before they could do independent research (or at least before they were likely to be funded)
. Hmmmm I worked for years as a microbiologist/chemist. So does this include me? (Just to qualify all this: I have done research in the past and I'm involved in research now (not my own)).
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  #17  
Old 12-18-2007, 02:15 AM
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Picking up on P/J's last comment about doing research in other fields. As nurses we are often dismissive of peoples previous experiences particularly if not in nursing when actually we need to embrace those experiences and make use of them.

Having said that of course, being a 'bench scientist' might not prepare you for some of the more qualitative research you might embark on as a nurse, but it must surely allow you the knowledge and experience to design and undertake some useful research.
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Old 12-18-2007, 01:30 PM
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I guess there's a difference between "doing research" and "being a PI (principle investigator). I'm guessing that if one has a BS in microbiology, you're likely to wind up doing research. But if you are going to be the person who is getting the funding, my guess is that you need some level of graduate education.

That said, I do not have a background in other kinds of research.

It's funny, we have a faculty member who was a microbiologist. She missed working with people, so she went back to school and got her RN. What is she doing now? Working with mouse models to examine cancer-tx related fatigue (http://www.ohsu.edu/ohsuedu/academic.../lisa-wood.cfm). (did you know that you can tell when a mouse is depressed by how much they run on their wheel?)

I love the interdisciplinary nature of so much nursing research. Before there were many PhDs or DSci available in nursing, a number of people got their doctorate in things like anthropology (including one of my heroes, Toni Tripp-Reimer (http://www.nursing.uiowa.edu/faculty...rippreimer.htm)

One of the reasons I love going to the Gerontology Society of America conference is the international and interdisciplinary nature of the membership: The sections are Biological Sciences, Behavioral and Social Sciences (anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology, and sociology), Social Research and Policy and Practice, and Health Sciences...there's even an arts and humanities presence (as well as a new journal dedicated to art & humanities and aging). I think it's a lot more balanced when we talk to and work with our peers rather than in "Silos." I think that its something that is also a natural in my area (end of life) because the structure of how EOL care is provided is already multi/interdisciplinary.

Oh, and BTW, I'm jealous of both of you Julie & PJ -- folks from your contries do some of the best EOL work around!
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  #19  
Old 12-18-2007, 04:07 PM
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I sat next to someone who had worked in a lab 'doing research', examining tumour cells and examining cause and effect. That kind of stuff is important in terms of medical science but does nothing for me and is not the kind of thing I could get excited about. She loved it, and was probably good at it (she certainly lacks certain people skills in terms of the people she was meant to manage). But each job lasted as long as the research funding and having got married she could no longer live without knowing when and where the next contract would be.

I had great fun trying to explain to her about my phenomenological research project which was for my masters programme. She really didn't get it, but was interested to hear about it. I'd love the opportunity to that principle investigator and to do much more in the way of social science research. Maybe one day soon?
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Old 12-18-2007, 05:30 PM
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I think the thing that I would've had a hard time with with Lisa's current work is that they monitor these mice for quite a while...and then they kill them (which they don't even call killing, but either "sacrifice" or "harvest.)

It may seem silly, but I don't want to have all those rodentia deaths on my head.
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