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The nurse's role as a consumer of research

Nurses need to know *how information is gathered and organized* in a research or scientific context, and be able to *read and evaluate research reports*.


Empirical data

Documented evidence (data) gathered through *direct observation* rather than a researcher’s subjective belief.


Nursing research

A systematic process of investigating problems to gain knowledge about *improving care* that nurses provide.


Nursing science

The body of knowledge that is unique to the discipline of nursing.



1. Ability to distance the research process as much as possible from the scientist’s personal beliefs, values, and attitudes.
2. Encourages *other scientists to have confidence in the conclusions*.


Qualitative research

1. An approach for generating knowledge using methods of inquiry that emphasize *subjectivity and the meaning of an experience for the individual*.
2. Participant observation, in-depth interviews, case studies, ethnographies, and narrative analyses.


Quantitative research

1. An approach for generating knowledge based on determining *how much* of a given behavior, characteristic, or phenomenon is present.
2. Experiments, questionnaires, and surveys.



1. The ability of researchers to *repeat a study* using the same variables and methods or slight variations of them.
2. An essential characteristic of a research study - increases the extent to which the research findings can be *generalized*.
3. Important because practice changes are *never* based on the results of only one finding.


Research consumer

Readers of nursing research whose objective is to *apply findings* to nursing practice or to use the findings to *conduct further research*.


Research team

A group that collaborates to conduct a research project, from determining the initial research question through communicating the results.


Research rigor

Striving for *excellence* in research, which involves discipline, scrupulous adherence to detail, and strict *accuracy*.


Scientific inquiry

The process of *analyzing data critically* that have been gathered systematically about a particular phenomenon.


Scientific method

A systematic research process that involves the following steps:
1. Selecting and defining the problem;
2. Formulating research questions or hypotheses or both;
3. Collecting data;
4. Analyzing data;
5. Reporting results.



1. Use of quantitative *and* qualitative methods to collect data about a particular phenomenon.
2. Can also refer to various combinations of research designs or instruments used in the same study.


Ways of knowing

An assortment of methods used to *acquire new knowledge*, including tradition, authority, trial and error, and intuition.


Aspects of nursing relevant to nursing research

1. Clinical practice/decision-making.
2. Educating clinicians.
3. Administration of nursing services.


Evidence-based practice (EBP)

Nursing practice that integrates the *best available research findings* into clinical thinking, decision making, and patient care.


The goal of research

To discover *new* knowledge and relationships and find solutions to problems or questions.


Research vs. problem-solving

*Not synonymous* - Research generates the knowledge used in problem-solving; if use of existing knowledge is found to be inadequate, problems can be posed as research questions, and scientific investigation can yield new knowledge to deal with future problems.


Two characteristics that are unique to the scientific method and not associated with other ways of knowing are _

Objectivity and the use of empirical data.


The value of using the scientific method is that _

The method can be replicated by other researchers.


Quantitative research uses the following methods of data collection except: (surveys; questionnaires; participant observation; psychosocial instruments)

Participant observation.


The development of a solid foundation of reliable knowledge typically is built from which type of research?

Basic research.



Formal, rigorous, systematic (i.e., planned to some degree) process to discover new knowledge or validate/refine existing knowledge through the gathering of data, information, and facts.



Information acquired in a variety of ways.



The study of knowledge.


The average length of time it takes for research findings to be integrated into practice

17 years.


National Institutes of Health (NIH)

U.S. organization that has numerous sub-organizations and is the predominant funding arm for research, including nursing research.


National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

The main federally funded nursing research institute in the United States; a branch of National Institutes of Health (NIH).