Nurses and midwives are a source of innovation in rethinking service delivery

Across the Region, nurses and midwives are playing an increasing role in evidence-based practice and in research on new care pathways that better meet the needs of patients and the population, promoting more appropriate use of medicines and technologies. When these initiatives have been encouraged and supported, they have been important in revising methods of delivering health services to improve their quality.

Spain (case study 37)

Overview: Little nursing research is conducted in clinical settings, and nurses infrequently participate in research, including writing scientific papers. To promote nursing research, a national strategy was prepared by the Nursing and Health Care Research Unit at the Carlos III Institute of Health. The aim of the Unit is to bring together the best knowledge in order to build the scientific foundation for nurse clinical practice, involving nurses in the research. Nurses are trained to improve their skills and knowledge in research methodology, based on the Registered Nurse's Association of Ontario Nursing Best Practice Guideline project.

Outcomes: The results of nursing research were translated into clinical practice and were well accepted by other professionals. This initiative improved overall job satisfaction and motivation and enhanced multi-professional teamwork. Nurses conducting research in clinical settings absorbed, related to and applied research better. They improved their skill in critical appraisal and research methods and based their clinical practice on evidence generated from the results. Access to evidence-based tools for clinical practice was promoted and infrastructure improved.

Health 2020 goal: Strengthening people-centred health systems