The nurse plays a much more important role than she is recognised. She currently works in different areas and continues to increase her presence. For example, a nurse coordinates all the research activity in large part of the Clinical Trials Units, improving trial follow-up quality. But the most important thing is the presence of nursing care research groups in the different Research Institutes. These groups have been accredited in the leading national Hospitals.
The nurse plays a much more important role than is recognised.
We also have nurses who work in Support Units who are vital in developing research. These nurses are, in most cases, the lifeline of nurses who want to investigate, publish or start training in methodology.
The future will be directly related to the commitment the Institutes adopt to the support of nursing groups. These are often emerging groups that need help, funding, time, and training. It will also be related to the support that the Administration and the Institutions decide to give to research in nursing care since research projects are still poorly funded and carried out with great effort. This situation will make professionals rule out continuing as long-term researchers and only carrying out specific tasks. The nurses are training in research and getting a doctorate; they have ideas, questions, projects and the desire to start them up, but a facilitating environment is necessary.
The future is marked by the commitment that the Institutes adopt to supporting nursing groups. These groups require support, funding, time and training.
Is nursing research work sufficiently well recognised?
In general, the work is recognised by peers. In other words, the nurses who receive support in a Research Support Unit realise that these are essential and that their research would not have gone ahead without them.
Within multidisciplinary teams, especially in coordinating clinical trials, it has been found that nurses are the professionals with the best profile to carry out the work. Their contribution has improved the quality of the tests. Still, it is necessary to be careful not to allow others to decide what the nurse has to do and be aware that she is a highly qualified professional who can contribute knowledge and experience that cannot be replaced.
Peers recognise nursing research work, and the nurses who receive support in the Units are essential.
It is also necessary that research with other professionals be taken into account so that the contributions a nurse can make are respected without relegating her to technical jobs.
As for the management teams, the Institutes and the Administration usually have a public discourse of total support and recognition. However, it does not always translate into concrete objectives and the provision of resources so that robust research can be carried out and continues.
Why are more research nurses needed?
Because we have to take care of the population, and we have to do it better every day. The only way to improve, to make sure and know what the best care is is through the evidence provided by research studies on nursing care that can be carried out with a robust methodology and with the necessary resources. For this, it is essential to have research groups made up of trained nurses with time to investigate and to be allowed to develop lines of research in the short, medium and long term. In addition, through research, the efficiency and effectiveness of the processes are improved, favouring the sustainability of the system and the quality of care.
The only way to improve is to know the best care through evidence.
What are lines of research currently being carried out at the Gregorio Marañon?
We have a Nursing Care Research Support Unit that is deeply rooted and accepted by nurses. This Unit promotes and supports all nursing research carried out at the Hospital. In addition, the Nursing Department is committed to studying, and we have a large nursing research group integrated into the Institute. This team is made up of healthcare nurses, managers and teachers who have managed to have funded projects, patents and publications. Even with all this, we still need resources and funding.
We are developing projects on chronic patient care, critics, health care and services innovation, professional skills and abilities, and gender violence and vulnerable populations.
Gregorio Marañón has a Nursing Care Research Support Unit, which is developing projects in treating chronic and critical patients, gender violence, etc.
How would you describe a 21st-century nurse?
Well, I hope she is a professional nurse who claims her place within the health teams, recognised by citizens, as Coordinator of care and processes. A professional who obtains the position, power and influence that she deserves in Universities, management teams and the healthcare field.
Would more funding be needed to investigate in Spain? Why?
Of course. Without research, no progress, no growth, and no relevant changes are produced. However, as the results are not always short-term, administrations prefer to promote activities that are.
In Nursing, it is also necessary to analyse where we start from because often, we are required to finance projects under currently difficult conditions that only produce frustration for professionals and harm to the population.
- Giménez Maroto: “More nursing employment must be generated to reach the WHO recommendations.”
- Carmen Ferrer: “The nurse must lead the multidisciplinary home care team for chronic patients.”
- Blanca Fernández-Lasquetty: We nurses provide that specific task that is caring for people