Essentials of building a career in nursing research
Evidence & Practice Previous     Next

Essentials of building a career in nursing research

Michelle Cleary Professor of mental health nursing, School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Sydney, Australia
Jan Sayers Research assistant, School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Sydney, Australia
Roger Watson Professor of nursing, University of Hull, Hull, UK

Background Nursing research is fundamental to driving evidence-based practice and achieving safe outcomes for patients. Underpinning the discussion in this paper are nurse researchers who thought strategically during their undergraduate and postgraduate studies to build a body of credible research influencing patient outcomes and, in so doing, establish their careers.

Aim To provide an overview of some of the career essentials that support a transition in role for the beginner or emerging researcher, otherwise known as the early career researcher.

Discussion Early career researchers need to acquire research competencies, to get involved in research teams, and to understand the research landscape and the various associated subtleties/vagaries and career trajectories. This is fundamental for establishing their credibility as researchers, and enabling them to undertake research that will influence policy and practice.

Conclusion Establishing a research career is challenging, and takes time, effort, patience, perseverance and commitment. For beginner researchers, collegial support and mentoring are essential to support a viable, professional, sustainable, enquiring profession, and a satisfying career.

Implications for practice Building individual capabilities and collaborative research teams together is fundamental to research success in adapting to new roles and workplaces.

Nurse Researcher. 23, 6,9-13. doi: 10.7748/nr.2016.e1412


Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 02 July 2015

Accepted: 23 October 2015