Applied Research in Nursing

Applied research in nursing, sometimes referred to as evidence-based practice (EBP), has been around for decades but has gained popularity in recent years as the healthcare field seeks ways to improve patient care and outcomes.

While the fundamentals of EBP remain the same regardless of setting or patient group, nurses in particular are trying to make improvements that are more responsive to their individual patients’ needs and preferences.

Applied research in nursing: How evidence-based practice is improving patient care

What is applied research?

The term applied research refers to the scientific process of applying the results of basic or applied research to practical situations. Applied research has a number of applications, including designing new products and processes, developing strategies for marketing and advertising, and solving problems within an organization. Applied researchers may use a variety of methods to collect data, including case studies and surveys. For example, they might observe workers on an assembly line to identify ways that their work environment could be improved.

A common method used by applied researchers is called meta-analysis, which involves reviewing published research and summarizing findings with quantitative summaries of the overall body of evidence in order to answer specific questions. For example, they might identify all relevant articles on medication X for condition Y to determine whether it has any significant side effects relative to other medications.

Meta-analyses are often conducted as part of systematic reviews, which involve a formal process for collecting and analyzing different types of evidence (e.g., randomized controlled trials) on one topic from different sources (e.g., medical journals). Systematic reviews summarize the research and provide confidence levels for conclusions about what is effective based on data collected from many studies.

Systematic reviews can also be conducted to assess how well interventions meet certain criteria, such as being cost-effective or meeting quality standards in healthcare settings. They usually include a list of included studies, a summary of the key information from each study and the authors’ conclusion about each intervention.

Applied research in Nursing: What are the Benefits

Applied research in nursing has many benefits for patients.

  • It helps nurses know what the best treatment options are and how to implement them, which can result in improved outcomes for patients.
  • It also helps nurses learn about new treatments that may not have been available when they were first trained and expands their knowledge base.
  • Finally, it gives nurses an opportunity to share their research with other colleagues who may not otherwise have access to it, which provides another way of disseminating knowledge about what works and what doesn’t.

There are many different ways that nurses conduct applied research in order to benefit patients. The type of study will depend on the question being asked, such as whether we want to examine a particular aspect of a disease or intervention and its effect on patients or a group; determine risk factors for developing certain conditions, or monitor trends in current populations like rates of hospitalization or mortality rates. Depending on the goal of the study, there are a variety of methods that can be used including surveys, clinical trials, cohort studies, case studies, qualitative methods, and observational studies.

Each method has advantages and disadvantages depending on what information is desired. For example, if researchers wanted to measure behaviour changes over time then they might use a qualitative design because this could yield rich data about thoughts and feelings. However, if researchers wanted to understand the prevalence or incidence of diseases in populations then they would use surveys.

There is evidence to show that the benefits of providing nurses with an opportunity to take part in the body of research that is constantly expanding and evolving. These studies help provide caregivers with essential knowledge for future decisions about their practice, allowing them to make informed choices based on reliable evidence from multiple sources. In addition, some organizations promote research participation among their members by using surveys or other strategies to identify healthcare disparities.

Once identified, these organizations work to remove these disparities through education or targeted interventions aimed at reducing the disparity. Even without formal organizational involvement, individual nurse researchers often engage in advocacy activities by collaborating with community stakeholders on issues related to health disparities so that nurses can effectively advocate for these communities as well as themselves.

Applied research in nursing also benefits the public by helping nurses become better-educated practitioners who are able to offer safe, effective treatments that meet the needs of specific patient groups. By working together to solve health problems, nurses have helped increase life expectancy in the U.S., decreased infant mortality rates and raised vaccination levels for children. This improves the quality of life for those individuals now and in the future.

The process of conducting applied research in Nursing

Conducting applied research in nursing means that nurses are looking for answers to questions such as What factors influence a person’s response to a certain medication? or What happens when patients with depression receive Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)? and using scientific methods, such as clinical trials and surveys, to find the answer. The process of conducting applied research in nursing is not only important because it helps improve quality of life but also because it influences how health policies are made.

For example, based on studies about the efficacy of CBT for treating depression, some insurance providers now require people to undergo CBT before they will pay for more expensive treatments like antidepressants. In this way, applied research can save lives by directing treatment toward those most likely to benefit from it while also saving money by preventing people from getting treatments they don’t need. Here is a list of the key steps in the process of conducting applied research in nursing :

Identifying the question being researched

Here the researcher (s) focus on formulating the research question and determining what information will be needed in order to answer the question. The researcher(s) need to decide which methods or processes will be best for answering their question. This means deciding whether they will conduct a case study, perform a survey or use any other appropriate type of study design. Accurate research question identification is an essential step in all types of studies. If a researcher incorrectly identifies the question being asked, then the results may not provide useful information.

Formulating hypotheses and predictions

A hypothesis is an educated guess based on limited knowledge whereas a prediction is a statement about something that has already happened or will happen in the future. Hypotheses are tentative statements while predictions usually have an expectation of accuracy.

Gathering data

This is the part of the research project where data, either qualitative or quantitative, are collected. The amount and type of data gathered depend on both the nature of the problem under investigation and the specific research method selected. As part of this phase, interviews may be conducted to collect first-hand accounts while observational studies might record behaviours as they occur naturally.

Surveys often involve having participants answer a set of predetermined questions. All data collection methods are designed to gather accurate information relevant to the research question posed by the researcher.

Analyzing Data

The purpose of analyzing data is to determine if there was any difference between what was expected and what actually occurred. Data analysis methods range from reading charts and reports to developing complicated statistical models. Qualitative data is analyzed by examining trends and patterns in word usage, body language, interview transcripts, etc., while quantitative analysis involves statistics like averages and percentages.

Once the researcher determines if there were any statistically significant differences between what was expected and what actually occurred, he or she makes conclusions about their findings.

Drawing Conclusions

After analyzing and drawing conclusions from the data collected, researchers must determine if their hypothesis was supported or not. If there was a statistically significant difference between what was expected and what actually occurred, then it can be concluded that their hypothesis was supported. If no statistically significant difference was found, then it can be determined that their hypothesis has not been validated.

Drawing correct conclusions from the data collected requires careful consideration and is not always easy. It is possible to make the wrong conclusion if too much or too little data was collected, for instance. It is also possible to draw incorrect conclusions if the researcher does not understand what he or she is trying to measure.

Presenting Findings

Once data have been analyzed and conclusions made, researchers are ready to present their findings. Some findings may be statistical in nature while others may be personal insights into a problem or issue.

Effective presentation of results depends on how well researchers communicate both verbally and through writing. Regardless of medium, communicating effectively with intended audiences involves following proper formatting guidelines, including transitions between points, appropriate use of descriptive details and highlighting important information.

Audiences who do not share the same background or level of understanding with the presenter will likely require more time to comprehend the message. This is why effective and clear communication is necessary. Audiences should be informed at the beginning of a presentation what to expect so that they know what to listen for, how long it will last, and who is responsible for presenting. Audience members should be given an opportunity to ask questions and share feedback at the end of a presentation.

Applied Research in Nursing Final Remarks

When conducting applied research, nurses should keep a few things in mind. For instance, they should not conduct research when there is no relevant question to answer or hypothesis to validate. If a question or issue has been studied before with useful results, it probably doesn’t need to be researched again by people who aren’t experts on related issues.

Ultimately, the goal of the research is to provide valuable insight that will help improve the health and quality of life of individuals, their families and communities. Nurses should keep this in mind when deciding what to research, whether it be a new study or an extension of an ongoing research project.

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