Research utilization (RU) is crucial to preparing the next generation of registered nurses, since they are expected to stay abreast of research, read and use existing research to improve their ability to solve problems, and make decisions independently in clinical settings. Also, baccalaureate nursing programs often identify RU as an expected curricular outcome. The purpose of this study was to identify nursing students’ perceptions about RU. In this study, we used a sequential mixed methods approach. In this paper, only qualitative analysis related to RU is reported. A qualitative descriptive design was used to address the study questions. A purposive sample of 20 undergraduate students enrolled in their final year of study in BScN programs (four-year basic, honors, and accelerated programs) was recruited via e-mail to participate in the study. The study findings were categorized into the components of the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) framework, which is comprised of evidence, context, and facilitation. Findings disclosed some key themes that nursing students perceive as facilitating or restricting their use of research. These themes include level of education preparedness, clinical experience and expertise, lack of time, theory practice gap, and clinical evaluation criteria, nursing faculty support for using research, and faculty’s’ competency in research. The majority of students stated that they did not utilize the research findings in clinical practice. Insufficient knowledge about RU was the most prominent reason. These results suggest that students should be encouraged and supported to utilize research findings in their practice settings


Nursing, Students, Nursing Research, Research Utilization, Evidence-Based Practice

Author Bio(s)

Salima Meherali, PhD Candidate, RN Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: meherali@ualberta.ca.

Pauline Paul, PhD, RN, Professor & Associate Dean Graduate Studies, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: ppaul@ualberta.ca.

Joanne Profetto-McGrath, PhD, RN, Vice Dean & Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: jprofett@ualberta.ca.


I would like to express my heartiest gratitude to my supervisory committee, Dr. Joanne Profetto-McGrath, and Dr. Pauline Paul, for their relentless support, guidance, and encouragement throughout my PhD studies.

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