Mapping the research utilization field in nursing

Can J Nurs Res. 2009 Mar;41(1):218-36.


The recent increase in interest in the field of research utilization, often embedded in the notions of evidence-based practice, presents a rich opportunity to advance the field in nursing. While an extensive literature on the subject exists in nursing, close examination reveals that much of it is opinion and anecdotal literature, and that sustained and programmatic theory building and testing in this field has been sporadic at best. This article maps the field of research utilization, proposing that we focus on major areas of inquiry: scientific, historical, and philosophical foundations, synthesis, determinants, policy, interventions to increase research utilization, and outcomes. In so doing, alternative ways of viewing and conceptualizing this field are possible. In conducting the kinds of studies and supporting the kinds of programs identified in this map, nursing, in collaboration with appropriate partners, can significantly advance the field of research dissemination and utilization studies and practice at many levels in the health system.