Year of the Nurse and the Midwife 2020 (2) Evidence-based policy: nursing now and the importance of research synthesis

4 January, 2020

A timely new paper from the International Council of Nurses (with thanks to Irina Ibraghimova and LRC Network)

CITATION: Int Nurs Rev. 2020 Jan 3. doi: 10.1111/inr.12572. [Epub ahead of print]

Evidence-based policy: nursing now and the importance of research synthesis.

Benton DC(1), Watkins MJ(2), Beasley CJ(3), Ferguson SL(4), Holloway A(5). [restricted access]

Aim: This study explores how scholarship relating to meta‐analytical studies and systematic and integrative reviews can inform nursing’s contribution to universal health coverage.

Introduction: As nursing globally embraces the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the Nursing Now social movement has called for the profession to improve universal health coverage through increasing nursing’s policy voice.

Methods: In determining how the Nursing Now social movement could pursue the aim of this study, researchers undertook a comparative bibliometric analysis of scholarship relating to the systematic curation of evidence. This study uses a mixed‐method analysis of the bibliometric data available through extracting and synthesizing information from one of the commercially produced indexing and citation databases.

Results: Generally, medicine has contributed far more synthesized contributions than nursing, except in the case of integrative reviews. Co‐occurrence analysis of nursing literature through examination of key terms yielded a complex visualization of 11 specific clusters of scholarship (Care of the Older Person, Nurse Education, Emergency and Critical Care, Occupational Health and Safety, Rural Services, Anxiety and Depression, Measurement, Newborn and Post‐natal Health, Cardiovascular Disease, Preventative Health and Cancer Care).

Discussion and conclusions: Bibliometric analysis of curated evidence demonstrates that there is ample nursing‐relevant material to inform evidence‐based policy change directed towards the attainment of universal health coverage and several of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Implications for policy: Nursing literature is available to support policy change directed towards the pursuit of universal health coverage and sustainable development goals. Leveraging existing networks of research collaboration to increase research capacity through communities of scholarship or by twinning experienced and neophyte contributors is possible. Further work is needed to equip nurses with the competencies to navigate the policy environment and develop and deliver impactful policy messaging.


Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA:

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: