June 21, 2007, 7:45 pm

Nursing Research: The Candy Man Cometh?


I’ve never even heard of a “Penguin”, let alone a chocolate one.

An extensive period of research (I googled it) tells of a treat made of two biscuits, filled with a chocolate cream and dipped in milk chocolate.

These are from the United Kingdom, and they used to have a bad joke on each wrapper!

It looks like it costs “3 1/2 degrees” (anyone from the UK want to fill me in on what that means?)

All I know is I want one!

The doctor in the ad? He’s not too sure.


Although the topic of this post has to do with an aspect of nursing research, it should not be confused with my nursing research column over at Nursing Jobs.org. As a matter of fact, in a sudden fit of shameless self-promotion, I’ll mention that my last column on nursing research discusses a free online class that helps develop nurse scientists.


If you haven’t yet read the blog at Nursing Jobs.org, treat yourself to a visit! Unlike regular blogs, the NJO blog covers five different topics by four different writers.

You can look at nursing research or nursing history, both of which written by yours truly. On Thursdays, you can read about current nursing leaders in Terri Polick’s Following the Leader column.

Susan McNicholas takes on nursing ethics in Penlight every Tuesday and Labor Nurse takes a look at the nursing blogosphere on Fridays in You’re Being (Web) Paged.

That’s a lot of good information! Better yet, have the information come to you via RSS subscription!


There is one aspect of nursing research that appears to be ubiquitous.

It is the rewarding of nurses who participate in the research studies.

Maybe it is more like providing an incentive to participate.

What is the incentive of choice?

A copy of the completed research study? Well, I have been randomly selected for a couple of surveys/research projects over the years and both times I received a completed copy of the study.

That was greatly appreciated and was the ultimate “reward” for taking the time to help further nursing research.

That does not seem to be the latest way of, well, enticing nurses to give their time and talents to research.

Now they use candy.



Pardon moi? Are we professionals or are we Pavlov’s dogs?

Fill out the form and get a Three Musketeers bar!

Let the research assistant follow you around the unit and a Snickers will be yours!

When did this become the standard practice?

As professional men and women, should we not willingly (and cheerfully!) promote the research of our colleagues without being “treated”, literally, like a kid on Halloween?


Well, I am putting the kibosh on this practice.

I will accept no Three Musketeers or Snickers bars.

Just the mere thought of accepting those bribes makes me cringe to my core.

I am a professional!

If you want me to participate in your research project, just ask me!

And then give me a pound of Godiva chocolate.

None of that cheap stuff for me!


  • PJ

    June 21, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    I think its a p (as in pence) rather than a o ‘degrees’.

    I’m more concerned for the doctor. That nurse has an evil gleem on her face making me think that that he has called her ‘sister’ once too often. “Oh doctor I just love how you undermine my authoritory in frount of the patients, here have a penguin…..with added largactal. hehehehehehe”.

  • AMiB

    June 21, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    Penguin bars are still out there (they give them to us in our packed lunches from our dorm), and they still have bad jokes on them! They’re really good, they’re kind of like KitKats in the sense that they have the wafer in the middle…

    I agree, it doesn’t really look like a p, but it could be…that would be for pence, the British equivalent of cents.

  • Max

    June 22, 2007 at 4:15 am

    OK – “d” is old money, and yes it is a d and yes it is short for pence (and yes this is illogical and thankful went out when money went metric).

    As for the Great British Penguin, lovely, the Aussies have a similar thing called a TimTam. (just in case they managed to crack the tough american market, where the penguin failed). The trick is to bite off either end, then pop one end into a mug of hot chocolate and drink through it like a straw, the chocolate in the middle melts and a googy chocolate mess is consumed. Chocolate heaven….

    The classic penguin joke is: Why don’t Polar bears eat penguins???

    A: They can’t get the wrappers off.

    Yours as stupidly as ever.

  • Julie

    June 22, 2007 at 6:01 am

    Max, I am not sure this is the place for your strange habits!!

    Adverts for penguins used to go… p p p pick up a penguin. Haven’t had one in years, but kim’s reminder might just have me buying some!!

  • Type-B Premed

    June 22, 2007 at 6:30 am

    Is it just me, or does the nurse have a somewhat mischievous expression on her face?

  • NPs Save Lives

    June 22, 2007 at 6:40 am

    I say bring on the good stuff as well! I try not to indulge, but I figure if my raise money is going to buy treats in order to quiz me about policy and procedure questions at the hospital, I’ll eat it.

  • Onehealthpro

    June 22, 2007 at 11:45 am

    Since I try to follow Dr. Dean Ornish’s lowfat cardiac diet…well…most of the time, the notion of high fat candy makes me cringe. I’ve spent too much time as a family member waiting around cardiac intensive care units. Not fun!

  • Catalyst

    June 23, 2007 at 5:54 am

    The old coinage system was pounds (L), shillings (s) and pence (d). The d stood for denarius/denarii, which is Latin for penny; the s stood for sestertius/sestertii; and the crossed L stood for Libri (pounds). We kept the L when we decimalised, but changed the d to p to indicate the new pennies, which were 100 to the pound instead of the old 240 to the pound.

  • Kirsten

    June 23, 2007 at 6:04 am

    If you want a p p p penguin, I’ll send you a packet – just email me. They’re great.

  • The BritMeds 2007 (25) · Articles

    June 23, 2007 at 6:27 am

    […] Baffled American Nurse […]

  • TC

    June 23, 2007 at 6:29 am

    Kim, it heartens me to know you can’t be bought cheap. Don’t even try to figure out the old British monetary system-there were like 800 pence to a shilling, 2.83 shillings to a farthing and 9 pounds to a hogshead. Don’t even get me started on stones or hands.

    Max I will have to try the Pengiun straw-up until now my fav UK treat was a latte w/a chocolate flake, so I could eat my whipped cream w/it like a spoon. Yum!

  • dearieme

    June 23, 2007 at 9:13 am

    Penguins are delicious. And so are those little chocolate biscuits. P.S “it is a d and yes it is short for pence (and yes this is illogical and thankful went out when money went metric)”. “d” stood for pence because the Latin is “denarius” and we still half expect the legions to come back.

  • Jen

    June 23, 2007 at 10:00 am

    I would soooooooooooooooooo love to do nursing research………but i’m afraid i would get bored………weird. There is simply not enough hours in a day to be both an ER nurse and a research nurse. hahahaha

  • ~RN Faye

    June 23, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    Jen, you could do nursing research in the ER. That is the perfect lab, endless perspectives!

  • Alan Ferris

    June 23, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    And the truly great reason why our currency worked so well is that, with 240 pennies to the pound, it was easy to equally share a bill between 1,2,3,4,5,6,8, 10 or 12 people. Try and split the bill for a $ 31 or a £ 31 between 3 people, in your new-fangled decimal system!

  • marachne

    June 24, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    Ah Tim Tams…you can get them in the U.S….if a few places. My favorite comment about them from an Aussie friend is that if they really wanted to do good marketing, they’d put them in the “feminine products” isle, as they are the best remedy for PMS.

    As for research…the last project I was on we paid people: nurses, direct caregivers, etc $20. Oddly enough, a lot of the nurses were uncomfortable taking the money, but I figure if you’re willing to talk to me for 60-120 minutes I want to acknowledge your time!

    That said, as a doctoral student, I probaby won’t be able to pay my participants.

    Now the statement that one would get bored by doing research…that baffles me. But then I’m talking about doing my own, clincially relevant research, not being the nurse on someone else’s project. And yes, there are ways for clinical staff to do research in their unit. If you have a good person on staff to set up right.

  • Deacon Barry

    June 25, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    How’s this for weird? Yesterday I read this post. Today I went into work and found somebody had given us two packs of penguin biscuits! It’s the first time anyone’s ever given us them too!

  • […] Baffled American Nurse […]

  • […] Nursing Research: The Candy Man Cometh? // Emergiblog When did this become the standard practice? As professional men and … Nursing Jobs Travel Nurse Jobs LPN / LVN Nursing Schools Money for … London Ambulance Dispatcher; Drug Induced Hallucinations; Purpleplus http://www.emergiblog.com/2007/06/nursing-research-the-candy-man-cometh.html […]

  • Jenny B.

    September 28, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Ah yes…those were the days of wearing nurses caps and feeding the docs!
    3 1/2 (d)pennies in old money (pounds, shillings and pence) about 2 1/2 pence in new money (pounds and pence) which equals to about 1 1/2 cents (with 2 dollars to one pound)…I haven’t bought any for awhile and for an eight pack they cost about $4.50 if bought from a British food store here in USA.
    I prefer the multiflavor ones – there is a black current one that is just super!

  • Alex Drake

    December 24, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    It’s not a ‘p’ for pence, it’s a ‘d’ for denarius, which was the same as pence before decimalisation (which I’m just old enough to remember)…

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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