Finding the right job for you can be challenging, and finding a career that is both rewarding and stable can be even more difficult. The good news is that there are certain job roles that are extremely common across all industries, regardless of the size of company you work for or your location. Nurses and other healthcare professionals occupy a number of these roles, and with the increasing demand for quality healthcare at any given moment this job market is likely to expand further in the coming years. Becoming a Nurse researcher requires dedication, hard work and an ability to stand out in a field where many others have the same goal but a variety of different methods to achieve it. This article will explore what a nurse researcher does, common questions that new nurses will ask themselves when looking into entering this career as well as some unique research opportunities available to those interested in becoming one.
What Is a Nurse Researcher?
A nurse researcher is a healthcare professional who is responsible for conducting specific types of research within the field of nursing. These researchers work in areas such as epidemiology (the study of causes of diseases), human nutrition (including diet, fitness, and health and illness during pregnancy), practice management (including regulatory compliance, audit, and quality improvement) as well as organizational research (i.e. what are the best practices for various organizational roles in healthcare?). Research in nursing is limited in that it looks at a very specific area of practice, but this does not mean that it is not important or valuable. It is the combination of two separate but related things – research and practice – that makes up a nurse researcher’s role.
How to become a Nurse researcher
In order to become a nurse researcher you will need to be a nurse. This is a common misconception, as anyone with even a minimal amount of experience in a healthcare setting will know that nurses are not only caring but also creative and analytical on the job. After graduating with a nursing degree you will have the option to either become a nurse practitioner (NP) or a registered nurse (RN). The former is the more common path and will provide you with the administration and management skills you’ll need to start your career in this field, as well as give you some experience as a practitioner. The latter is more in-depth and is usually reserved for those interested in moving into a management role. Ultimately, it is likely that you will start out as an NP and work your way up the management ranks within a healthcare setting before switching to a more administrative role. As with any career path, the path of a nurse researcher is a journey with many twists and turns.
Nurses and research
As mentioned above, one of the key roles that a nurse researcher plays is as a data source. This can be either in the form of collecting information for a study or merely writing an article about what you’ve learned. One of the most common questions new nurses will have is “how do I get into research”?. The best way to start your search is to get involved in the communities where you’re interested in working. It would be a disservice to new nurses to limit their career options to only those in academic settings. If you’re interested in working in community settings you’re in luck, as there are a plethora of opportunities available. From a patient’s perspective, the onus is on the individual to be aware of their health conditions and take steps to prevent or manage them. This means that patients must be made aware of the importance of filling out their health insurance forms and having their current medical information updated, as well as being given some tools to better manage their health (such as a smart phone app).
Researcher myth busting
As with any field of study, there are going to be certain myths and misconceptions about research that need to be busted. Here are a few that come to mind. Some people may be under the misconception that all researchers are paid employees of institutions and spend their spare time searching the internet for random facts. As the field of research grows more popular and more people become aware of its benefits, we will see more people choosing this path. The truth is that most researchers are independent contractors working for clients on an ad-hoc basis.
Tips on how to get your foot in the door as a nurse researcher
The best way to get your foot in the door as a nurse researcher is to apply for available positions as a regular nurse. This might be filling in at a walk-in clinic or at a hospital outpatient setting. Applicants will be expected to have some level of nursing experience, usually as a registered nurse. Experience varies from job to job, with more advanced nursing roles requiring more experience than a new hire in a nursery. The best way to stand out is to be passionate about what you do and have the drive to get the job done. If you’re interested in epidemiology or nutrition, for example, it would be wise to have a portfolio of work to show potential employers that you’ve conducted research in these areas.
Becoming a Nurse researcher requires dedication, hard work and an ability to stand out in a field where many others have the same goal but a variety of different methods to achieve it. This article will explore what a nurse researcher does, common questions that new nurses will ask themselves when looking into entering this career as well as some unique research opportunities available to those interested in becoming one.