Advice for nurses

Applied research directly impacts what mental health nurses do in their routine practice, so it is essential that more mental health nurses should be involved in informing, contributing to, or even leading this research (“nothing about us, without us”).

Mental health nurses may believe that research is only for those with special skills in statistics or trial design. However, the best quality research requires a team that represents methodological expertise, clinical expertise and the lived experience. We are working together to co-produce the research question, the design of the study, and the interpretation and implications of the findings. Good quality mental health care should be based on the best available evidence. Doing research is not a distraction from clinical work, its essential for evolution and development of better care.


  1. We're comfortable when working with complexity and uncertainty
  2. We have an acute sense of important clinical uncertainties that could be addressed by research
  3. The clinical process of care is similar to research process
  4. Our sense of what's feasible and practical leads to research designs that work in real world settings
  5. Our focus is on the lived experience of people with mental health conditions



“Research is a form of knowledge production that is structured, rigorous and transparent. In mental health nursing, there are simply not enough people involved in research.”

– Professor Ben Hannigan, Mental Health Nurse

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