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Clinical nurse educators as agents for change: increasing research utilization

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research utilization, clinical nurse educator, evidence-based practice, diffusion of innovations, linear regression, secondary analysis

Abstract (summary)

The purpose of this study was to examine the determinants of research utilization among clinical nurse educators. The primary goal for clinical nurse educators is the facilitation of professional development of practicing nurses. Responsibilities include promoting best practice by mentoring others, acting as an information source, and assisting in the development of policies and procedures based on available research evidence. Using Rogers’ (Diffusion of Innovations, 4th edn., The Free Press, New York) diffusion of innovations theory as a theoretical foundation, we conducted a secondary analysis to test a predictive model of research utilization using linear regression. Results show that educators report significantly higher research use than staff nurses and managers. Predictors of research utilization include attitude toward research, awareness of information based on research, and involvement in research activities. Localite communication predicted conceptual research use and mass media predicted symbolic use, lending support to the idea that overall, instrumental, conceptual, and symbolic research utilization are conceptually different from one another. Our findings show that the research utilization behaviors of clinical nurse educators position them to facilitate evidence-based nursing practice in organizations. We discuss the theoretical, conceptual, and nursing role implications of our findings for nursing practice, education, and research. Suggestions for future research includes studying actual use of research findings of clinical nurse educators and designing intervention studies that assesses the effectiveness of clinical nurse educators as facilitators of research utilization in organizations.

Publication Information

Milner, M. F., Estabrooks, C., & Humphrey, C. (2005). Clinical nurse educators as agents for change: Increasing research utilization. International Journal Of Nursing Studies, 42(8), 899-914. doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2004.11.006


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