Doing clinical research: The challenges and benefits

Isabel Higgins, Vicki Parker, Diana Keatinge, Michelle Giles, Rhonda Winskill, Eileen Guest, Elizabeth Kepreotes, Caroline Phelan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


The need for research in practice is well documented within nursing and other health care disciplines. This acceptance is predicated on the belief that clinically applied research will inform and improve practice and health service delivery resulting in better outcomes for consumers and their families. Nurses, however, find doing clinical research challenging. This paper describes nurses' experiences of doing clinical research. The main challenges of doing clinical research arise from a culture that prioritises practice where nursing work is core business and there is the need to address immediate and short term goals. There are also problems associated with the use of research language amongst clinical nurses and ambiguity in relation to research role expectations. Lack of support and resources for doing research along with keeping up the momentum for a research project also pose significant challenges. The benefits of doing clinical nursing research include experiential learning that has the potential to lead to practice change and improved patient outcomes that are evidence based.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-181
Number of pages11
JournalContemporary Nurse
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Benefits
  • Challenges
  • Clinical research
  • Nursing


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