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Nursing and the wider R&D agenda: Influence and contribution

  1. Hugh McKenna
    1. Nursing Research School of Health Sciences University of Ulster Jordanstown Co Antrim Northern Ireland
  1. Carolyn Mason
    1. School of Nursing Queen's University, Belfast Northern Ireland


This paper suggests that the goal of nursing research in Northern Ireland should be to carry out rigorous, systematic inquiry designed to make significant contributions to knowledge. Such knowledge should impact positively on the physical, mental and social well-being of the population. There are, however, contrasting views about the content and direction of nursing research and how nursing can contribute to and influence the wider reasearch and development (R&D) agenda. These and other perspectives will be examined.

It is the authors' contention that nursing has a series of key roles to play in health service research at strategic and operational levels. It will be argued that while research policy is framed by government, it should retain the flexibility to allow for projects that focus on issues and phenomena that are predominantly the concern of the nursing profession. In order to do this the profession should use the influence it has to make a worthwhile contribution to patient care.

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