What is Nursing Research?| Types and How to Write it

 An entry-level nurse’s conventional task excludes research. Most nurses work in the direct care of patients or administrative roles in the healthcare industry. Individuals in the nursing profession can offer a variety of talents and experiences to the science of nursing care through nursing research, which is a burgeoning discipline.

The term “nursing research” is frequently misunderstood. Some people have no idea where to begin when it comes to defining nursing research. This article seeks to enlighten you on various aspects incorporated into nursing research. Before that, how can you describe nursing research?

What is nursing research?

Nursing research entails structured research to learn more about nurses’ problems, such as education in nursing, nursing practice, and nursing leadership. While conducting research in nursing, you need to write a nursing research paper.

You may be required to do a nursing research paper while enrolled in a nursing course. Typically, you will need to include a specific topic related to nursing. This academic article often demonstrates your ability to conduct research and a thorough comprehension of specific themes in the nursing field you wish to pursue.

It can assist you in becoming more familiar with the potential nursing specialty. You need a nursing research paper for your degree which will account for a significant portion of your overall grade. You will need to submit this paper for you to graduate.

Nursing research attributes

As a scholar in the nursing research domain, you need to take into account various attributes as stated below:

  • The study can be replicated to assist you in obtaining a reliable and thorough result
  • It necessitates a certain level of competence, so you must thoroughly prepare to engage in that behavior as a researcher
  • While conducting nursing research, you must collect existing information from firsthand sources
  • Nursing research is meticulously documented and reported
  • It is based on empirical evidence
  • The study is based on firsthand experience and necessitates careful observation of the subject matter
  • You should dedicate it to finding a remedy to the issue

Importance of nursing research

Nursing research tremendously impacts your present and future professional nursing, making it essential to the training process. It is essential to the nursing profession and is required for your continued development in nursing care. The function of the nurse has shifted radically in the current century. Below are the advantages of nursing research:

1.      Helps nurses to advocate for the patient and deliver optimal treatment based on research data

The nursing staff operates in a wide range of contexts, such as hospitals, classrooms, businesses, laboratories, and residential care. Even though each function has its own set of responsibilities, your primary purpose as a trained nurse remains: to advocate for the patient and deliver optimal treatment based on research data.

2.      For health policy creation and global wellness

You will be able to use the results of scientific research to help create health policy and improve global wellness. Nursing practitioners are dedicated to everyone’s well-being. They frequently perform research that has a long-term influence.

3.      Enhances provision of higher-quality treatment

Any professional progress necessitates the conduct of research. Healthcare is no exception, and nursing research has the potential to transform it. Adopting evidence-based practice will help you provide higher-quality treatment. Research aids nurses in providing effective, evidence-based care as professional nursing evolves in response to societal requirements and developments in medical science.

Research is fundamental since it’s a vital predictor of the retention rates of nurses, which is significant for assuring long-term accessibility to high-quality nursing care. It will enable you to continue to rely extensively on research findings to enhance health outcomes and minimize illness-related risk factors.

4.      Gives patients a chance to make rational health-related choices

Nursing is a profession that necessitates good research abilities. How? Nurses provide information to patients and providers to make rational choices related to their health care.

5.      Enhances updates on modern trends and patterns in the healthcare field

As a nurse, you are accountable for keeping patients informed on recent innovations in the nursing profession by staying up to date with modern trends and patterns so that they can make critical choices while treating themselves or seeking care guidance from others. It is critical to communicate this information because it will allow both you and the patients you serve to use the services to understand each other better.

6.      Opportunity for learning

As a nursing student, the research will help you understand the fantastic opportunity and prospects in the nursing field. It is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to help you become an active contributor to understanding the nursing research discovery process.

7.      Experience with research

During the nursing research, you will be obliged to spend months inside the laboratory conducting the requisite genotyping. You will be allowed to experience another aspect of the nurse researcher’s job. You will figure out which library and online resources are the most reliable and relevant to your studies within a short timeframe.

Any profession’s progress necessitates the conduct of research. Healthcare is no exception, and nursing research has the potential to transform it. As a nurse, adopting research practice will provide you with a higher-quality treatment.

Conducting nursing research will help you provide practical, substantial proof care as the nursing profession evolves in response to societal requirements and developments in science and medicine. The nursing profession also necessitates good research abilities. Why? It will help you provide information to patients and providers on how they can make educated decisions regarding their health.

Levels of evidence in nursing research

Studies are ascribed levels of evidence (also known as a hierarchy of evidence) depending on the systematic review of their reliability, design, and usefulness to care delivery. Different research studies are best suited to different nursing research examples and types of clinical problems.

You may not always be able to discover the most significant level of evidence (such as meta-analysis or systematic review) to address your query. Navigate your way downwards towards the next higher evidence level if this happens. These decisions determine the degree of recommendation. There are seven levels of evidence in nursing:

1st level

Here, you use findings from a retrospective study or conceptual analysis of all applicable RCTs (randomized controlled trials) or evidence-based treatment guidelines on thorough reviews of RCTs.

2nd level

At this level, use at least one well-designed a Randomized Controlled Trial to gather evidence.

3rd level

Evidence derived from well-designed, non-randomized controlled trials such as quasi-experimental.

4th level

Cohort studies or case-control with a well-designed design.

5th level

Systematic reviews of qualitative and descriptive studies provide evidence, i.e. meta-synthesis.

6th level

Involve one descriptive and qualitative study’s evidence.

7th level

Evidence-based on authorities’ opinions and a committee of experts’ reports.

Generalizability in nursing research

Generalizability links your nursing research to practice. The idea of generalizability is simple: a study’s findings are generalizable if they can extend to individuals diagnosed for care (are valuable for making a therapeutic choice). As a clinician, you must make effective choices concerning the generalizability of research findings outside the scope of a specific study group.

This necessitates a thorough grasp of the illness that characterizes the population, the research intervention, and the patient. Finally, doctors must decide on a study’s generalizability and how to weigh the data when making a therapy decision. The crucial “representativeness” constructs of your study samples and “generalizability” of research findings are receiving more attention in medical research. Although this is a positive trend, these critical concepts are frequently misunderstood and jumbled, disguising the central challenges of internal and external validity.

Nursing Research Role in E-learning Programs

Nursing Research Role in E-learning Programs enrolled in virtual nursing schools can take research courses to assist improve your skills. Nursing research courses may cover study analysis and design, providing a platform to learn how to assess, apply, and use current information. The programs also cover nursing research methods and critical appraisal for evidence-based practice and provide insight into current knowledge development concerns.

The modern healthcare system is complex, and the demands of patients are becoming increasingly diverse. The concept derives from the health problems of various populations and necessitates the participation of clinicians with a wide range of perspectives. As an online nursing student, you may develop into a professional who recognizes the value of research in nursing and how to implement it into practice.

Methods of nursing research

To improve the breadth and depth of comprehension of nursing processes, you can use mixed research methods. The mixed-methods that you can use include the qualitative and quantitative research as elaborated below:

Quantitative research

Numbers, variables, and percentages are used to interpret the data collected. There are three different categories of quantitative research that you can use while conducting research in nursing:

The descriptive quantitative research

In this kind of research, you need to define an individual, circumstance, or a group of people and their attributes. This type of research looks for connections and summaries based on observable characteristics.

Quasi-experimental research

The goal of quasi-experimental research is to help you figure out how variables cause and impact each other.

Correlational research

Correlational research helps you look at the connections between variables without revealing a problem link.

Qualitative research

It is based on people’s feelings, thoughts, and encounters. There are five different categories of qualitative research that you can use in nursing as a researcher, as stated below:


It entails the study of conventions and behaviors to learn how other cultures view disease and health.

Grounded theory

Theories are developed in grounded theory in response to the challenges, queries, and findings.

symbolic interactionism:

The readings, responses, and models of connection, communication, and symbols are investigated in symbolic interactionism. These factors influence how people adjust their health habits over time.

Historical research:

Historical research systematically studies previous themes, cultures, or populations.


The author’s personal experience and ideas are used to create phenomenology.

Advantages of blended approaches in nursing research

Using blended approaches in nursing research has numerous advantages. Quantitative data will help you identify qualitative components of the research by recognizing a sample of patients, while qualitative data can help you construct the conceptual model. Quantitative data can help you pick patients to interview during data collection. In contrast, qualitative data can help researchers determine the facilitators and barriers to patient retention and recruitment. Qualitative data will help you analyze, describe, validate and clarify quantitative conclusions during data analysis.

Evidence-based practice and terms and conditions are based on research that has been undertaken and assessed by professionals in the nursing research field. As a nurse, you need to collaborate with diverse disciplines and other healthcare professionals and conduct clinical research.

What is sampling theory in nursing research?

Sampling theory in nursing research is the process of grouping a set of individuals, events, behaviors, or other items to investigate. A sampling plan defines selecting a sample; a sample refers to the chosen group of individuals or items of study. Your sampling decisions heavily influence the validity of the findings.

Sampling theory was created to identify the most efficient method of obtaining a sample that accurately reflects the demographic under study. Although agricultural scientists were the first to apply the approaches to experimental research, survey research provided the theoretical, mathematical underpinning for sampling decisions. 

The theory of sampling has various vital concepts such as:

  • Randomization
  • Populations
  • Sampling mistakes
  • Sampling criteria
  • Representativeness
  • Sampling frames
  • Elements
  • Sampling plans

Factors to consider when evaluating published nursing research

When assessing published nursing research, keep the following factors in mind:


Is your study accurate, dependable, and legitimate? The validity of your study is an important issue to examine. Many published research is inaccurate, and some have adequate evidence to show that they are fake.


 Is your measurement’s outcome continuous? Nursing is a profession that necessitates continued education. Since research influences nursing decisions, it’s critical to access research findings. When you gather information from various sources, you will obtain more diverse knowledge than the usage of one source.


 Do your published nursing research’s two events, ideas, or activities have logical connections? You must look up the research topic in a research database to get the information. Finding out the relevance of your topic will help you determine which potential topics of research merit further investigation.

Researchers frequently draw information from extensive studies that collect data on many people over a lengthy time, known as cohort studies, to evaluate an individual’s attitude to medicine. Such types of studies are known as case-control.


 How well do you comprehend and implement design principles to test hypotheses and characterize problems in advance as a researcher? How do you gather data effectively using suitable techniques that account for undesirable variation from external factors like potential confounders that impact your study outcomes?

There are numerous benefits to doing so, including avoiding repeated effort, which would increase expenditures without offering any further benefits.

Nursing research priorities

You should prioritize nursing research that generates information to enable practice in the following areas:

  • Promotion of well-being, personal care, health, and proficiency among people of all ages
  • Managing health disorders that have the potential to decrease performance and enjoyment throughout one’s life
  • Reducing the detrimental impact of health problems on individuals’ and families’ coping capacities, productivity, and life happiness;
  • Using suitable strategies to meet the care requirements of particularly vulnerable groups;
  • Creating and designing cost-effective healthcare systems to satisfy the population’s nursing

The above-listed priorities in nursing research go in line with the following nursing research examples:

  • Identification of predictors of wellness and health functioning in individuals and families (environmental and personal, such as social support system), such as avoiding inappropriate behavior like alcohol addiction and substance use, successfully adapting to chronic illness, and coping with the final days of life
  • Development and testing of care techniques to enhance people’s ability to adapt and maintain health-promoting practices such as changes in exercise and diet
  • Developing and evaluating models for delivering nursing care practices deemed to be effective in clinical investigations in terms of effectiveness and cost
  • All of the preceding are directly tied to the importance of acquiring the data and understanding to enhance nursing practice. You should aim to prioritize all types of nursing research.

Include philosophical and historical investigations and workforce studies for education in nursing, research, and practice. Do not forget to incorporate quality assurance studies for nursing and the construction of evaluation metrics for training and theory.

A variety of relevant nursing research topics to choose from

You may be required to submit a nursing research paper before completing your nursing degree to demonstrate your knowledge in a particular nursing field. Because nursing is such a significant profession, it may take a little extra effort to develop an engaging study topic. It’s a good idea to look at a few different themes before deciding on your ideal topic. In this article, you shall learn how to select a nursing research topic and a list of possible research topics you can use for various specialties.

What factors should you examine while selecting nursing research topics?

Attempt to be thoughtful about your nursing research topic because your research paper is so significant. When choosing a topic, ask your lecturers or mentors for any suggestions in making it more precise or if they can provide guidance that will help you be successful in your study. Make an effort to select a topic that is:

  • Precise
  • Authentic
  • Meaningful
  • Relevant
  • Explorative

Topics for nursing research

While carrying out your nursing research, you must select a topic first. The following is a list of possible nursing themes organized by subject:

Pediatric nursing

If you wish to specialize in pediatric nursing, you can research a topic related to childhood nursing.

Here are some study topics to consider in pediatric nursing:

  • Effects of antibiotics on children’s immunity.
  • Effects of environmental contaminants on children’s health
  • Effects of passive smoke inhalation in early life
  • Pediatric care ethics
  • Diabetes in children: genetic variables
  • Has newborn care improved in the previous 50 years?

Nursing care for adults

Adult nursing refers to the treatment of persons who are 18 and above. If you want to pursue a career in nursing in this discipline, you could look into topics such as these:

  • An examination of a region’s dental and oral health
  • Examining the cost-effectiveness of healthcare
  • Investigating the advantages of cooperative nursing
  • Examining the origin of depression
  • Examining the differences in therapy for cardiovascular problems between men and women

Nursing care for midwives

 After completing midwifery training, you are allowed to care for women during and after their pregnancy. If you want to pursue midwifery as a career, you should research the subject. Below are some sample research topics in midwifery:     

  • Evaluation of caseload and care quality for ethnic minority groups
  • Assessment of autistic women’s delivery experiences Evaluation of frequent feeding difficulties in babies and infants
  • Study of mother-child bonding during post-natal care
  • Study of mother-child bonding during post-natal care
  • Evaluation of treatments for postpartum depression

Nursing care for the elderly

Nursing care for the elderly, typically over 65 years, is known as elderly nursing. Consider a study topic in nursing that focuses on caring for older people if you are interested in this study field. The following are topic examples:

  • Assessment of the immune system’s influence on aging
  • Physical environment as a factor in functional decline
  • Examination of indications of malnutrition in the elderly
  • Examining the role of a nurse in advanced-care planning
  • Efforts to improve the management of pain in the elderly
  • Vaccination case studies for the elderly
  • Parkinson’s illness case study

Women’s well-being

A women’s health nurse is a nurse who specializes in caring for women of all ages. You might be interested in any of these topics if you want to provide healthcare to women:

  • Evaluation of premenstrual syndrome emotional symptoms.
  • Preventive strategies for sexually transmitted infections
  • An examination of women’s sleep difficulties
  • Treatment for menopause
  • Immigrant women’s healthcare

Nursing care for people with mental illnesses

Mental health nurses care for patients with diseases affecting their brain chemistry or mental processes. Consider the following topics if you wish to study mental health:

  • Techniques for dealing with ADHD
  • An examination of the effects of mediation therapy on patients with cognitive development problems
  • The use of mirror therapy in brain rehabilitation 
  • An assessment of anorexia’s risk factors
  • Examining the relationship between autism and dopamine levels

Management of pain in nursing

Pain management refers to treating people who require pain alleviation or assistance in managing chronic pain. If you’re considering a career in pain control nursing, you might want to look at the themes below:

  • Analysis of the efficacy of non-pharmaceutical pain management in adolescents
  • Examining the role of a nurse in pain management
  • Pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical therapy options for patients recovering from surgery.
  • Pain management techniques’ effectiveness in cancer patients
  • Cognitive hypnotherapy in pain management: origins and best-practice pain management medication trends for nurses

Types of nursing research

Applied research

This type of research is used to solve daily problems, develop breakthrough technologies, and treat illnesses rather than acquiring knowledge to acquire it. You can use applied research to look into methods of treating or curing an illness.

Basic research

It is the study that is motivated by a scientist’s curiosity. At every level of nursing education, you need more research to analyze the teaching-learning process and outcomes. You need new nursing education approaches to educate yourself for academia and research positions better.

Clinical Nursing Research 

Clinical Nursing Research entails a consensus quarterly publication that discusses clinical research issues that are important to nursing practitioners. It will provide you with an international forum to promote discussions between you and other clinical practitioners. Therefore, you will improve clinical practice by identifying the potential therapeutic relevance of the latest scholarly research and distributing research findings of specific importance to nursing professionals.

Biological research for nursing

Biological research for nursing assists nurse researchers, educators, and practitioners in integrating information from various basic disciplines. The disciplines include business, education, engineering, health policy, social sciences, clinical practice, and biology.

What does nursing research has in store for the future?

There are excellent, fashionable things happening in health care, and you should be at the forefront of it. Whether at the bedside, in the clinic, or in the neighborhood, you should discover methods to collaborate with individuals we care for and the people who care for us.

Your job as a nurse is to advocate for your patients, particularly disadvantaged groups and persons who cannot voice themselves. Its main goal is to ensure that healthcare is integrated. For your nursing research ideas, you should draw on your knowledge of the surroundings and the individuals we serve.

The Bottom line

Nurses must perform research to improve their practice, keep current, and provide better patient care. As a student pursuing nursing, you can use information literacy abilities to exploit information to create your findings more effectively. Nursing research is required for you to comprehend, analyze, and apply research throughout your professional life.

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