Evidence‐based policy: Nursing now and the importance of research synthesis

D. C. Benton, M. J. Watkins, C. J. Beasley, S. L. Ferguson, A. Holloway

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

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

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.

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.

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-60
JournalInternational Nursing Review
Issue number1
Early online date3 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • bibliometrics
  • health policy
  • integrative review
  • meta-analysis
  • Nursing Now
  • sustainable development goals
  • systematic review
  • universal health coverag
  • Year of the Nurse and Midwife


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