University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

How Should we Search the Literature? Evidence Based Practice and Nurse Education

Lipscomb, Martin ORCID: (2014) How Should we Search the Literature? Evidence Based Practice and Nurse Education. In: 18th Annual International Philosophy of Nursing Conference in association with the International Philosophy of Nursing Society - Brave New World? Health, technology and evidence based practice, 8th - 10th September 2014, Nottingham University. (Unpublished)

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Nursing dissertations often take the form of a literature review and post registration/licensure, it can be argued that search and assessment skills are necessary prerequisites for the successful performance of evidence based practice. To meet academic and professional requirements (and putting assessment to one side), educators introduce literature searching skills to students and this introduction makes use of texts that, it is argued, are problematic. Using work by Helen Aveyard to illustrate recommended practice, this paper explores some of the assumptions that permeate thinking about literature searching. It is proposed both that the number and types of sources that need to be located remain indeterminate and open to contestation and, also, that an overly narrow interpretation of the purpose and structure of nursing literature searches is frequently presumed. Thus it is commonly supposed that the search process should and can begin with the formulation of an answerable question and, to address the question posed, unhelpful or limiting conventions about what ‘counts’ as evidence are assumed. Students and registered nurses are however, properly and legitimately interested in subjects that cannot easily be collapsed or framed in a way that allows answerable questions to be set and targeted ‘answering’ evidence sought. If the purpose of literature searches is interpreted broadly rather than narrowly, alternative conceptions of search construction deserve consideration. Thinking about how students are introduced to search strategies provides a useful vehicle for investigating important aspects of evidence based practice and nurse education. Unresolved questions about the meaning and purpose of evidence in or for nursing practice underpin the way we approach and read ‘the literature’.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: nursing, evidence based practice, nurse education
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Nursing and Midwifery
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Depositing User: Martin Lipscomb
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2015 08:02
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:08

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