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This is a discussion on Soon to be RN looking for biology research future in nursing in Nursing Career Advice ... Hi, I am graduating June 1st and hope to have my license soon as well. I have a BA in...by Joe_99 Apr 15, '11Hi,
I am graduating June 1st and hope to have my license soon as well. I have a BA in psychology as well. I enjoy nursing as well as other areas. My psych education has given me some experience with research. Currently I am planning on finding a med surg type job and working on a BSN or MSN somehow or another. I have been doing research with my anatomy & physiology / microbiology professors at the school and hope to be getting published soon.
From the work I have done and talking with different people I have decided the direction I am wanting to go is infectious disease nursing. I would really like to find a way to cross over into biology and be able to do some lab work and field work. I enjoy growing cultures, staining slides, and would like to work on a big societal problem such as infectious diseases and nosocomials. I recently attended the American Society for Microbiology conference in Ohio and was pleased to see how much attention is paid to many of the common bugs us nurses are familiar with. My issue is that there is a lack of cohesion between our field and theirs, I want to fill this niche and am wondering how I can proceed. I don't have the academic background to easily get a biology degree and doubt I ever will. Can anyone give me any advice as far as jobs or directions for my masters?
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- Apr 18, '11 by seaghostI'm posting so I can see the responses to this thread. (: I have similar interests.
- Apr 19, '11 by HouTxWhat you are describing - growing cultures and staining slides - describes the work of laboratory technology; at least here in the US. It may be different in other countries or working in medical missionary type situations.
According to the ANA, Professional nursing "is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering throught the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations." Our focus is human response - not diagnostic testing or pure biological research. That's why there is no nursing sub-specialty for "infectious disease", it doesn't encompass any nursing-related scope of practice. Patients with infectious diseases can be found in any patient population.
In the US, our system of consumer protection laws limit the manipulation of lab specimens to people with specific credentials & qualifications in that field, so if that's what you're truly interested in perhaps you should look into laboratory science rather than nursing. Or, maybe you would enjoy working in the office of an ID physician.
- May 12, '11 by RaymundHello Joe 99:
I am also an RN and interested in biological nursing research, especially the application of microbiology to nursing research - infectious/communicable diseases. I am a member of our local microbio organization, the Philippine Society for Microbiology where I had the chance to present a paper on the application of microbiology to nursing research. Currently, I am taking my master's degree in nursing and planning to study fungi for my thesis... and also human subjects.
As a nurse researcher, you can use knowledge and techniques from other disciplines when conducting your study. Just be sure that you are trained/skilled to do these procedures and have mentors from other fields. This will make your study more credible than just doing it on your own.
It is true that the focus of nursing is primarily on human response, especially nursing practice. But when it comes to nursing research, we are focused more on building the evidence for practice, education and also research. According to the National Institute of Nursing Research, one of the goals of nursing research is to "Build the scientific foundation for clinical practice". Patient and community health education is a major role of nurses. But the knowledge we impart to our patients must be backed with evidence. In this regards, nurse scientists can pursue training and mentorship to gain cross-disciplinary skills which are biological in nature.
- May 13, '11 by HouTxRaymund,
It would seem that Phililpino nurses may have opportunities that are uncommon here in the US. Funding for 'hard science' research is primarily granted to medicine and other disciplines rather than nursing. Congratulations on your achievements!
- May 13, '11 by RaymundHello HouTx,
Better opportunities in the US than in the Philippines in terms of biological research in nursing. Funding can primarily come from the National Institutes of Health thru the National Institute of Nursing Research.
Aside from the application of microbiology, genetics research is also a realm opening to nurse scientists. In the US, the NINR offers the Summer Genetics Institute where nurses are trained not only in the utilization of genetics in nursing practice, but have hands-on training in genetics research. Webpage can be accessed at
...so better opportunities there.