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In pursuit of evidence: Your role in making research count in everyday practice

There’s a rather wonderful and instructive irony in the celebration of International Nurses Day – the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth – with the theme for 2012 of ‘Closing the gap: From evidence to action’. Nightingale represents anything but a gap between evidence and action. Described by her first biographer as a ‘passionate statistician’, she was not only a researcher and research user but also a designer of research graphics. Her successes in reforming military health services and standardising hospital statistics are exemplars of how to use evidence to drive improvements in practice. In this learning activity, we’ll explore our contemporary responsibilities and opportunities for bringing evidence to everyday nursing decision-making and actions.

Hospital visitors: visiting in our hospital or are we visiting in their lives

There is increasing evidence of the potential contribution that visitors can make to patient wellbeing and recovery. Although some district health boards in New Zealand have recently relaxed visiting hours, others have not. This article explores perspectives on hospital visiting and including visitors as valued members of the health care team. By Lesley Batten and Marian Bland.

Influenza vaccine and health professionals

Last year 46 per cent of district health board nurses got vaccinated against the flu – less than the 48 per cent average for all DHB heath workers. This article explores the debate around the value, ethics, and efficacy of health professionals getting the annual flu vaccination and looks at some of the statistics, research, and prevailing attitudes around the sometimes contentious topic. By Noreen McLoughlin

Nursing journals: still a valued and time-honoured professional development tool?

Oh the joy of finding a well-written journal article that captures professional nursing interest, is relevant, includes robust research, and inspires positive evidence-based practice change! Despite being spoiled for choice with a plethora of nursing journals, do nurses recognise and use these as a means to advance their practice? This article will examine the actual and perceived value and role of journal articles as valid professional nursing development tools.

Think delirium: The role of the nurse in the prevention and detection of delirium?

The term delirium comes from the Latin word deliriare – literally "to jump out of the furrow while ploughing". This sudden and acute temporary change from the normal is now commonly associated as a problem of old age. How can you as a nurse apply evidenced-based knowledge on preventing and identifying delirium into your everyday nursing practice?

Change management: a classic theory revisited

Change management is fundamental to quality and improvement processes. It is also at the heart of leadership. Those implementing change need first to disrupt the status quo, secondly, to move everyone and everything involved to a new way of doing things, and finally, to ensure that the new practice and processes cannot change back to the former state. In this learning activity, we’ll revisit Lewin’s classic theory of planned change in the light of new thinking about resistance and readiness. By Shelley Jones.

Preceptorship: grounding and growing the next generation

Historically the many traditions of nursing were learnt at the bedside as novice nurses worked alongside a more senior or experienced nursing colleague. Today’s nursing workforce relies on preceptors and mentors guiding beginner nurses in their building of knowledge and development of nursing reasoning. The focus of this article is an introductory look at preceptorship for the beginner (i.e. new graduate) nurse.

Talking about safe practice: A way to look after yourself, your colleagues, and your...

In this learning activity, we’ll look at how every day talk contributes – and could contribute more – to safety for patients. 

“I didn’t want that”: Assessing cultural needs during end-of-life care

Although cultural needs is a common component in many nursing assessment tools, it is not unusual to find this section left blank, especially in end-of-life care plans. This article explores the challenges associated with cultural needs assessment, and outlines strategies for ensuring the individual needs of patients and their families related to cultural care are identified and addressed.

You’re worth more than the crumbs! Keeping professionally healthy in 2013 and beyond

A large focus of health professional responsibilities involves encouraging consumers to adopt lifestyle practices aimed at achieving and maintaining good health. Despite providing consumers with well-rationalised and varied methods for promoting optimal health, many nurses are not heeding their own advice. Why do nurses fail to ‘walk their talk’ and what are some of the impacts of nurses failing to honour their own needs?
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