This writing-intensive NRS-433V: Introduction to Nursing Research course promotes the use of research findings as a basis for improving clinical practice. Quantitative and qualitative research methodologies are presented. Emphasis is on the critical review of research studies and their applications to clinical practice. An overview of evidence-based practice is provided.
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What is Nursing Research?
Nursing is a profession within the health care sector focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life.
On the other hand, research is derived from the French word “recherche”, which means “to go about seeking”, Old French term “recerchier” a compound word from “re-” + “cerchier” The earliest recorded use of the term was in 1577.
According to Polit and Beck (2006), nursing research is a systematic inquiry designed to develop knowledge about issues of importance to nurses, including nursing practice, nursing education, and nursing administration. Nursing research can also be referred to as the research that provides evidence used to support nursing practices.
NRS-433V: Introduction to Nursing Research
Types of nursing research.
The four types of qualitative research designs are most often used to conduct nursing research. These include:
- Phenomenology – phenomenological research helps to describe specific phenomena of interest as they are lived and experienced by individuals.
- Grounded theory
- Narrative inquiry.
Steps involved in the nursing research process.
- Defining the subject and purpose of the inquiry
- Review of the literature
- Planning the method of investigation
- Pilot study
- Data collection
- Data analysis
- Drawing conclusions and making recommendations
Defining the subject and purpose of the inquiry
Research problems and questions about nursing can be flashed off by a variety of incidents such as:
- A nurse’s own experience
- A particular event in the working environment
- A particular interest in an area of practice nursing literature may trigger further research
Once the research problem has been identified it is necessary to write down clearly what questions you are asking. At this stage determining the objectives of the study is essential since of necessity the research questions are closely related to the study’s objectives. This step helps to clarify, refine and focus the area of inquiry. Many research novices do not pay enough attention to this stage and attempt to research a topic which is far too broad. Without a specific focus, the study will lose direction and become unmanageable.
Review of the literature
The literature should be looked at from the point of view of:
- Problem to be researched;
- The appropriate scientific background and
- The methods and findings of previous research.
Planning the method of investigation
After the research questions are established, the most appropriate methods of investigation must be selected. During selection, you should consider the following issues:
- Type of research choose the appropriate to the investigation, e.g. descriptive, experimental, action
- Data this refers to details of the information to be collected and relevant variables
- The samples this refers to where the information can best be obtained
- Techniques the methods used to collect data, e.g. observation, questionnaires,
The purpose of a pilot study is to test the proposed methodology which enables the researcher to make alterations to some elements of the method if necessary.
If you are satisfied with the results of the pilot study, you can proceed to carry out a full-scale data collection. You should remember to adhere strictly to the methods as planned. Most importantly, the schedules and timetables related to data collection are established and that adequate information and instruction is provided to respondents.
The approach to data analysis is determined by the type of data collected. This step may involve grouping, classifying, and coding data, according to a pre-arranged system.
Drawing conclusions and making recommendations
You can draw conclusions from the findings from the data analysis.
Benefits of nursing research in medical practice.
There are several merits of using a research-based approach in nursing. Some of these benefits include:
- Improvement in patient care
- Reduced cost of care provision.
- Accountability and protection against litigation
- In addition to the existing body of nursing knowledge
- Enhancement of nursing as a profession.
NRS-433V: Introduction to Nursing Research