Do you have to write a nursing research paper, but are totally unsure of where to start? It’s not uncommon to feel like the whole research process seems pretty overwhelming. Luckily, there are tons of tips and tricks out there that can help you achieve top-notch results with your nursing research project, so you can get an A in no time!
In this post, you will learn the best tips for acing your next nursing research project.
First off though we need the key question: “What is nursing research? ”
Well, nursing research is defined as a scientific process that generates new knowledge about health, illness, and nursing care.
The ultimate goal of nursing research is to improve patient care and outcomes. Many people are intimidated by the idea of doing any type of research, but nursing research can be broken down into three main steps: finding credible sources, critically appraising the source material, and presenting the information in an organized way.
If you find yourself stumped on how to complete these steps, here are some tips for each one!
To find credible sources, use databases like PubMed or Google Scholar. These databases will help you locate peer-reviewed articles which were written by experts in the field.
Critical appraisal will help make sure your information is accurate and reliable; if it isn’t, don’t use it!
Finally, organizing your findings into a well-written paper can seem daunting, but there are many ways to do this including alphabetizing topics and subtopics. Once you have completed the entire research process, you’ll be able to proudly say I did my own nursing research!
How to Ace Nursing Research: Tips and Tricks
Now then here are 9 tips to help you get an A in any nursing research project
1)Narrow Down the Topic
The first step to any research project is narrowing down your topic.
This can be done by brainstorming potential topics, doing some preliminary research, and then choosing a topic that is both interesting and manageable. Once you have a topic, the next step is to begin your research. Again, this can be accomplished in a number of ways.
You could use an online search engine such as Google Scholar or Scopus for more in-depth information. Also, you could ask other nurses what they are currently researching to get ideas for your own project!
2) Consider What You Want To Accomplish with Nursing Research
Before you start any nursing research project, it is important to take a step back and consider what you want to accomplish.
What are your goals? What do you hope to achieve? Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can begin to develop a plan to achieve them.
Are you trying to conduct original research? Create a literature review? Examine current literature on a specific topic? Develop educational materials for patients or professionals who work in the healthcare industry?
All of these different types of projects require different strategies and resources. So, to get started, pick the one you’re most interested in and come up with a research plan to address that goal.
3) Choose a Relevant Theory or Model
Nursing research projects are all based on theories and models.
That means you have to decide which theory you are going to study before you start looking for sources!
Is your project a theoretical study? Historical research? An experiment? Some of the most common nursing research models include phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, and case studies.
One example of a phenomenological study is to examine the experience of living with a chronic disease.
Grounded theory and ethnographic studies explore culture and society, respectively. Case studies involve describing the case histories of particular individuals.
Which type you choose is up to you, but make sure to research the various types so you know what you’re getting into!
4) Create a Reliable Survey Instrument
If you are planning on conducting a survey for your research project, you need to make sure it is reliable. That means that your survey questions will be well-constructed and provide consistent results each time they are administered.
Plus, you need to make sure the people you are surveying are representative of your population.
For example, if you are surveying for general nursing research purposes, you should survey nurses and other health care professionals.
When designing your instrument, think about how long it should be and what level of detail is needed.
Do the questionnaire items correspond to the purpose of your research? Are the language and vocabulary appropriate for your audience? Are the questions easy to understand? Is the wording of the question consistent throughout?
If you answer yes to all of these, congratulations, you have a reliable survey!
5) Select Your Sample Population
Nursing research cannot succeed without the proper sample population.
There are many methods to find a sample, including convenience sampling, quota sampling, stratified random sampling, cluster sampling, and systematic random sampling.
Quota sampling typically only includes members from a certain gender or race while stratified random samples select participants from subgroups within the larger group randomly. In contrast, systematic random sampling picks a predetermined number of subjects in the same manner.
Cluster sampling is a combination of two or more of the previous methods and can be beneficial for large populations. The drawback to this approach is that it doesn’t always result in a perfect representation. Systematic random sampling is the best way to guarantee an accurate representation, but often requires a lot of manpower.
Ultimately, the choice between the methods depends on the size and complexity of your population. Use a smaller, simpler method for small populations and more complex ones for bigger ones.
6)Follow Up with Respondents
Once you have collected your data, you will need to send out a follow-up survey.
This will help ensure that any missing or inaccurate data can be collected after the completion of your first questionnaire. If possible, conduct both questionnaires simultaneously so that you can use it as an opportunity to verify inconsistencies with your respondents’ answers. In addition, the follow-up survey provides you with a chance to double-check your calculations and validate your findings. Lastly, the follow-up is essential because some respondents may not have been able to complete the original questionnaire due to injury, lack of interest, forgetfulness, etc.
7) Write up your research project in the correct format
Paper formatting for your research project will depend on the type of paper you are writing.
It is important to consult your professor for specific guidelines.
A good starting point is to include a title page, abstract, introduction, literature review, methods and materials, analysis and discussion, conclusion, and implications for practice.
Many schools also require you to write a research ethics statement and obtain IRB approval.
As a side note, the word count of your paper is typically around 10 pages or more.
8) Cite your Sources
When writing a nursing research paper, it is also important to remember that you are a professional.
That means you must follow all of your school’s guidelines regarding citation. Many schools require that citations be made in APA, MLA, or Harvard referencing format. Citing sources ensures that you are providing your reader with the necessary information for them to be able to access your sources.
By doing so, you are making your work more credible and will ultimately make it easier for others to read. This can be accomplished by either parenthetically citing the source in the text or by inserting a footnote with a full bibliographic citation at the end of the sentence.
Ultimately, the choice of which style to use is up to your school, but you should take the time to familiarize yourself with the rules of each style. Doing so will save you a great deal of frustration and confusion when it comes time to cite your sources.
9) Proofread and Edit Your Nursing Research Paper
After you have finished writing your paper, it is essential that you give it a good proofread before turning it in.
The last thing you want is for your teacher to catch a simple spelling mistake or formatting issue because you failed to notice it. If you have time, ask a trusted friend or family member to proofread your work as well, as their fresh eyes can spot mistakes that may be invisible to you.
You can also try reading your paper aloud to see if anything sounds awkward or unnatural. Other suggestions for catching errors include using different colored pens and highlighters, reading backward, or rereading passages several times over. Another option is to get feedback from classmates or colleagues who are experts in grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary.
Nursing research projects are often very long and tedious, but they are worth the time and effort. Make sure to keep your goal in mind, focus on your outline , and use your time wisely. Be prepared to put in a lot of hours, but it will be worth it in the end