By changing nothing, we hang on to what we understand, even if it is the bars of our own jail. ( John LeCarre, 1990)
Trends in nursing education and research cannot be isolated from the dynamics of nursing practice. Likewise, nursing trends are responsive to the projected changes in the delivery, organization, and financing of health care. The health care revolution occurring in the United States is spurred by the questionable effectiveness of the current system to provide access to basic health services in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Because of the lack of a unified federal and state health care policy that directs, monitors, and ensures the basic value of health, discussion about appropriate practice roles and an adequate supply of professionals is central in the health care industry. To address these concerns, immediate shifts in traditional activities may offer solutions by developing guidelines for the optimal size of the health care work force, thus providing the nature and structure of care that guarantees access to health care for all U.S. citizens. This chapter discusses the interrelatedness of nursing education, research, and practice. The various educational programs of the United States and Canada are presented in terms of their characteristics and the graduate’s nursing role in health care delivery. Research studies are described within the context of methodology and relationship to practice. This chapter also discusses trends that question nursing’s contribution to health care delivery from an educational or research perspective. Nursing as a scientific discipline and as a profession is an essential component of any delivery system that influences improved health outcomes. According to the American Nurses Association (ANA, 1995a): Continue reading NURSING EDUCATION AND RESEARCH