Aim: The paper reports on a study that highlighted the benefits to nursing students of taking part in research.
Background: There is a great deal of literature and ethical guidance to protect research participants who take part in research. However, there is limited empirical evidence regarding the beneficial outcomes of research participation.
Methods: The findings reported in this paper were part of a qualitative, longitudinal study undertaken in the UK between 2007 and 2009. The study explored the empowerment of nursing students in clinical practice. Thirteen undergraduate nursing students were recruited to the study. Data generation was in the form of annual, individual interviews. Over the course of the study, students were asked about their experiences of participating in the research.
Findings: Nursing students reported significant benefits as a result of research participation. These were threefold: strengthening self; strengthening knowledge; and strengthening clinical practice. Protection of research participants is crucial, but emphasis on protection obscures the potential benefits that result from being a research participant.
Conclusions: Researchers who recruit nursing students to educational research must protect them from harm. However, in the process of weighing up risks associated with their educational research, they need to be cognizant of potential benefits that can arise for nursing students when they are asked to participate in nursing research. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Educational research
- Longitudinal research
- Nursing students