An Overview of Nursing Research

In every academic study, we all do research. This research involves gathering information to answer questions.

Health care research is generally similar to every day research but differs in formality.

Basic research is just a systematic inquiry using disciplined methods to solve problems or answer questions.

On the other side, nursing research is a systematic inquiry intended to advance knowledge about issues of importance to nurses which include nursing practice, education and administration.


Importance of research in nursing.
Nursing research plays a very important role in nursing profession and should be done by every nurse as it helps in upgrading their knowledge, solving queries, provide quality health care as well be competent on tackling daily obstacles. The importance of research in nursing are;
o Improving nursing education system
o Improving nursing standards. An Overview of Nursing Research.
o Nursing research help nurses to investigate carefully in relation to various nursing diagnosis and other problems.
o Nurses gain comprehensive information related to various topic.
o Nurses investigates various methods of treatment in advanced form.
o It helps to enquire on newer methods to deal with the problem.
o It helps to provide patient with quality care.
o It helps to invent new techniques to care patient.
o It helps to provide patient with cost effective patient care.
o Saves nursing profession legally.
o Develop and improve nursing standards.
o Nursing research updates newer information’s.
o Helps nursed to become dynamic.
o Improves community people health.
o Solving daily obstacles.
o Nursing research helps nurses to update information on various field. An Overview of Nursing Research.

Roles of Nurses in Research
o Reading journal
o Attend research presentation
o Review and critique researches
o Research assistant
o Research utilization
Past, Present and future of Nursing Research
1.  Nightingale
o Notes on nursing
o Apprenticeship nature of nursing
o Nursing literature contained little research.


 2. 1900 - 1940
o Struggle with professional identity
o Study nurses, who they were, what they did, how other groups perceived them, what type of person entered the profession supply and demand, nursing education.
* AMERICAN NURSING JOURNAL begins publication.

3. 1950 – 1960
o Nursing research accelerated
o More nurses with baccalaureate and advanced academic preparation, upgraded research skills.
o Government funding
o Studies addressing clinical nursing problems, practice-oriented research, broader scope of practice,
* NURSING RESEARCH begins publication.

4. 1970 – 1990
o More additional journals focusing on nursing research.
o Shift in emphasis from teaching from teaching, administration and nurses to the improvement of client care.
o More attention to utilization of research finding in nursing practice, evidence-based practice.
o National center for Nursing Research within National Institutes of Health: Nursing Institute of Nursing Research was established.

5. 1990 – 2000
o Nursing research guided by priorities established by conferences on research priorities e.g. low birth weight, HIV infections, long term care, symptom management, health promotion. An Overview of Nursing Research.

6. New Millennium
o Heightened focus on evidence-based practice.
o Increased emphasis on confirmation/replication of studies, integrative reviews, multidisciplinary collaboration, outcome research.
o Expanded dissemination of research findings, emphasis on visibility of nursing research.
o Themes: Lifestyle modification, managing chronic illness to improve QOL, reduce health disparities, harness advance technologies, enhance end of life experience, other research priorities.

Ethics and Research
Historical background
o Nazi medical experiments
o Tuskegee syphilis research
o Willowbrook hepatitis studies 

Code of ethics
o Nuremberg code
o Declaration of Helsinki
o Belmont report

Ethical dilemmas for researchers
o Rights of participants and demands of research project are put in direct conflict.

Ethical Considerations in Nursing Research
1. Principle of beneficence
o Freedom from harm
o Freedom from exploitation
o Risk versus benefit. An Overview of Nursing Research.


2. Principle of justice
o Right to privacy
o Right to anonymity and confidentiality
o Right to fair treatment

3. Respect for human rights and dignity
o Right to self determination
o Right to full disclosure

4. Informed consent
o Essential information
o Comprehension of information
o Competency to give consent
o Voluntary consent

* Element of Informed Consent
Written, implied and process consent
o Researcher identity and credentials
o Means off obtaining study results
o Subject selection process
o Purpose of study and study procedures. An Overview of Nursing Research.
o Potential risks and benefits
o Compensation if any
o Anonymity and confidentiality
o Rights to refuse to participate or to withdrawal without penalty
o Offer to answer all questions

Other Ethical Issues in Nursing Research
o Research misconduct (Dishonesty and fraud) Fabrication, Falsification, Plagiarism.
o Stipend and incentives
o Animal studies
o Concealment (Convert Data Collection) and Deception
o Debriefing and Referrals
o Vulnerable groups (Assent and Consent) Children, Mentally/Physically disabled terminally ill, institutionalized, Pregnant.

Ethical Considerations
o Freedom from harm. An Overview of Nursing Research.
o Anonymity
o Informed consent
o Confidentiality
o Right to fair treatment
o Freedom from exploitation

1. A questionnaire was distributed with a cover letter indicating the purpose of the study, risks and benefits and a statement of agreement to participate in the study signified by the return of the answered questionnaire.


2. Parents may refuse to have their children participate in research studies related to their cases and yet demand to
received medical care due them.

3. The instructors were not allowed to read the full texts on students’ evaluation of faculty performance.

4. Blood samples obtained for AIDS medicine trials will not be used for cancer studies. An Overview of Nursing Research.

Sources of Evidence for Nursing practice.
o Disciplined research
o Traditional and authority
o Trial and error
o Assembled information
o Clinical experience and intuition

Purpose of Nursing Research
o Identification
o Exploration. An Overview of Nursing Research.
o Explanation
o Prediction and control

Levels of research
Level I (What is or What are….?)
o Exploratory
o Descriptive

Level II (What is or are the relationship/s between or among variables)
o Correlational
o Comparative

Level III (Why or what is the effect on/difference of variables among groups?). An Overview of Nursing Research.
o Quasi experimental
o Experimental

Types of research
o Qualitative versus (Naturalistic versus positivist paradigm)
o Basic versus applied
o Experimental versus non experimental
o Laboratory versus field
o Cross sectional versus longitudinal
o Retrospective versus prospective


Qualitative or Quantitative
What is the effect or positioning on oxygen saturation among preterm babies?. An Overview of Nursing Research.
o How do women cope with domestic violence.
o What grieving processes do terminally ill children go through during play therapy?
o What is the relationship between spirituality scale of primiparas and their newborns’ birth weight?

Steps in the Research Process (Quantitative study)
1. Conceptual phase
o Formulate and delimit the problem
o Review the related literature
o Undertake clinical fieldwork
o Define framework and develop conceptual definition
o Formulate hypothesis

2. Design and planning phase
o Select a research design
o Develop protocols for intervention
o Identify the population to be studied
o Design the sampling plan
o Specify methods to protect human /animal rights
o Finalize and review the research plan. An Overview of Nursing Research.

3. Empirical phase
o Collect the data
o Prepare data for analysis

4. Analytic phase
o Analyze the data
o Interpret the results

5. Dissemination phase
o Communicate the fights
o Utilize research evidence in practice

Steps in the Research Process (Qualitative study)
a. Conceptualizing and planning
o Identify research problem
o Do literature review
o Select and gain entry into research sites
o Design qualitative studies
o Address ethical issues. An Overview of Nursing Research.

b. Conducting the study
o Make sampling decisions
o Collecting data
o Evaluate trustworthiness of data
o Analyze and interpret date

Disseminating findings
o Seek publication
o Provide rich descriptions

Research problem
1. Practice, experience or interest
2. Literature review
3. Theory
4. Ideas from external sources
5. Social issues
6. Previous research
Determine feasibility
1. Time
2. Money
3. Availability of research participants
4. Ethical considerations
5. Facilities and equipment’s
6. Experience and qualification of the researcher. An Overview of Nursing Research.

Research Topic, Problem and Purpose

Research Topic. Depression in cancer patients

Research problem. Depression can affect cancer recovery and quality of life, one of ten in a population develop cancer and a large number experience depression.


Research purpose. To develop better understanding of difficulties experienced by patients with cancer diagnosis; to determine long term effectiveness of psychological interventions for cancer patients.

Research question
o Clear and simple
o Interrogative sentence
o Include study/key variables (Dependent and independent variables), relationship among variables, population under the study.
o Indicate the empirical data to be gathered
o Ethical considerations, feasibility and significance of study of study should be apparent. An Overview of Nursing Research.