On Wednesday 21 January I had the pleasure of attending the launch of the Anglia Ruskin Nursing Research Unit (ARNRU) which I found it to be an extremely interesting event.
It sparked up a real interest in research that I wasn’t aware I had prior to today, but more importantly it drew together all the research and journal articles that I have read over my three years of study, to show that these findings have a direct effect on patient care.
Although we regularly hear about evidence-based care and are told to champion it as the gold standard in practice, to hear about research in the context of research nurses and having research commissioned, it really highlighted to me that the outcomes have a huge impact on patients. In fact, as was emphasised throughout the event, the key purpose of the Nursing Research Unit and indeed nursing research in general, is to improve patient care; driving nursing forwards into the future.
The event was very well attended by people including student nurses like myself, current nurse researchers, representatives from research and development departments from the various hospital trusts, lecturers and statisticians. This range of audience members led to lively discussions on the topic of research and ideas on how to make the field more accessible to clinicians and students alike. Indeed calls came for more involvement of student nurses in hospital-based research work. As someone who had very little idea of what a research nurse actually does on a day-to-day basis, I wholeheartedly agree with this suggestion. Ultimately, research has the power to change the face of nursing.
As well as introducing the topic of research and the nursing research unit, some current and recent research work was shared with the audience. As a student in the field of child nursing, I was fascinated by the work of Professor Sarah Redsell
whose area of interest is in the assessment and interventions of obesity risk factors in infancy. Not only had she and her team already done several studies into this area and developed an assessment tool, she has exciting research planned in the form of a feasibility study to see how the tool will work in the community with health visitors. Professor Redsell’s example shows us how ideas can develop, via research, into being implemented for use by health professionals.
I look forward to hearing about future events from the Nursing Research Unit and learning about the research that is produced from it.
I would also like to send out warm congratulations to Professor Ruth Taylor on being appointed the Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education’s permanent Dean. Speaking on behalf of my fellow students, I am very glad that she will remain as our Dean for some time to come.