AIM: To report from a study aimed at illuminating how French Registered Nurses experience and engage in nursing research in clinical practice.
BACKGROUND: Nursing research in France is mainly conducted by nurses working at clinical research units rather than by dedicated nurse researchers. Education, i.e. advanced degrees, in the field of nursing research is still in its infancy and not yet consistent with the international context. Outside France, the general perception is that nursing research is a unified part of professional nursing. Consequently, in-depth knowledge about how nurses in a French clinical context might experience and engage in nursing research is still lacking.
DESIGN: The design of this study was influenced by an ethnographic approach as described by the French anthropologists Beaud and Weber.
METHOD: Data, participatory observations, field notes and interviews (n = 6) were collected in a teaching hospital between April-August 2012. The field consisted of a wound-care unit and clinical research units. Collected data were analysed based on Beaud and Weber's description of analysis.
RESULTS: Three beliefs were identified: being a unified part of a research team, being an integral part of 'crosswise - across' activities and being part of research activities.
CONCLUSION/IMPLICATION FOR RESEARCH: Commitment to nursing research was strengthened by patient-related issues. Based on this context, nursing research would likely benefit from the support of a naturalized reciprocity between clinical practice and research.