The ability to use evidence-based practice in everyday work is central to the provision of nursing and medical services of appropriate quality. Taking this into account, when preparing future specialists to manage real cases, it is important to make sure that they have enough knowledge about the basics of medical and nursing research. Also, knowing how to evaluate other researchers’ findings and, if necessary, implement them into practice can be critical to success.
Despite the significance of research skills, many educational programs in health and medicine do not include research courses. It can be associated with various factors, including, for instance, priority-setting practices that emphasize polishing patient care skills instead of studying the principles of research evaluation and decision-making. One more factor that may explain the absence of research courses in numerous programs is the complexity of statistical methods. For instance, according to Al Furaikh et al., more than 70% of nursing students believe that research is a “difficult, complicated, and stressful subject” even though they recognize its critical role in positive patient outcomes. It is possible that the limited use of research courses originates from curriculum developers’ willingness to make the education process well-structured and prevent students from expending energy in studying concepts that are not always used.
Modern research indicates that the lack of research courses significantly impacts graduates’ future work. For instance, according to Saunders, Vehviläinen-Julkunen, and Stevens, such graduates demonstrate low levels of EBP knowledge, which has implications for practical tasks. At the same time, the students who have not attended research courses can engage in EBP by practicing self-studying. It is known that even short-term education sessions devoted to the principles of research use increase students’ knowledge of EBP. However, to use the self-teaching strategy, it is pivotal to distinguish between high- and poor-quality study guides and learn about biases that affect the results of research evaluation.