Nursing Research

Nursing research, which has been used to describe evidence supporting nursing practice since the days of Florence Nightingale, has recently been talked about more thoroughly. Today many nurses work in universities and health care settings as educators and researchers, hence the name nursing research.

Nursing research falls into two basic areas: quantitative research and qualitative research. Quantitative research is focused on client outcomes that can be measured, usually with statistics, and is based on scientific knowledge and logical positivism, which states that the only authentic knowledge is scientific. With quantitative research, the dominant method is called a randomized controlled trial, a form of clinical trial that tests the efficiency of medicine and medical procedures. Qualitative research is based on the idea of phenomenology — theories that stemmed from phenomena — along with grounded theory, ethnography and others.

Qualitative research examines the experience of patients who are receiving or giving the nursing care and its meaning to the individual. Qualitative research commonly uses interviews, focus groups, case studies, and ethnography, a holistic research method, to determine the outcome. A third option sometimes referred to is triangulation, which is an alternative to qualitative and quantitative research and can bring the two methods together for a more thorough completeness in specific research information.

Nursing research has come a long way since it first became a more commonly used term in the 1990s. While early studies were educational in focus and quantitative in design, the focus of the questions has drifted a different direction since then. Today nursing research concentrates on the diverse approaches to knowledge development as well as sophisticated research methods. Nursing research, which applies scientific research to gain knowledge, answer questions, and solve problems, jumped into the forefront because of a quest for quality and cost-effective health care. It encompasses all aspects of nursing health care, from promoting good health and illness prevention to improving quality of care and maximizing health outcomes and costs.

To become involved in nursing research, you will need an advanced nursing degree. The University of Phoenix offers the following online nursing degree programs:
» Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Click for more info)
» Master of Science in Nursing (Click for more info)
» Or see online LPN to BSN, RN to BSN, or general nursing programs

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