The role of nurses continues to evolve to meet the arising patient needs and deliver quality and timely care. Consequently, nursing research is required for nurses to acquire best care practices, improve patient outcomes, and respond to changes in practice. Additionally, nurses should understand the basic principles of research because new information and patient needs will continue to emerge.
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Therefore, nurses should learn how to conduct research to address care needs based on available evidence and data. Scientific research involves designing appropriate studies for the problem being addressed, collecting and analyzing data, and making sense of it to draw meaningful and useful conclusions. As such, nurses should understand the basic research principles to be in a position to make evidence-based conclusions. The purpose of this paper is to discuss qualitative and quantitative research, highlight sampling methods, and indicate how research can impact nursing practice.
Quantitative research is important because it allows researchers to derive important facts from data using statistical analysis. The data collected through this method is expressed in numbers, and thus it is reliable and objective. Additionally, through statistical analysis, findings could be generalized or extrapolated to other set-ups. It also established relationships between variables together with limiting the subjectivity of the researcher (Ingham-Broomfield, 2014).
The experimental design is one of the many types of quantitative research designs that could be used in nursing research. The main important feature of this design is that it uses scientific methods to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between variables. Researchers manipulate all dependent variables in a bid to understand the independent variable. Knowledge obtained from quantitative research plays an important role in enhancing patient care and outcomes. For example, nurses could use valuable data obtained from clinical trials to provide timely and quality treatments and interventions based on the evidence-based approach.
Qualitative research plays a pivotal role in nursing practice by allowing researchers to collect data based on lived experiences of the involved participants. As such, new evidence-based insights are gathered to promote care and patient outcomes. Qualitative research focuses on understanding complex relationships among variables, and the diversity of responses becomes an important tool in designing care protocols and procedures (Squires & Dorsen, 2018).
One of the qualitative research designs is phenomenology, which is used to seek deeper understanding concerning a specific phenomenon based on the lived experiences of the participants. The common characteristic of this research design is that participants give firsthand experiences concerning the subject of study. Qualitative research can help improve nursing practice, especially when little is known about the topic under study. Such scenarios are common in nursing practice because patients have different human experiences concerning certain care issues. Data collected through qualitative research could be used to generate concepts and novel theoretical ideas and knowledge, which are needed for quality care provision and better patient outcomes.
Outcome Research Sampling
Sampling is part of the research process, and it involves selecting a specific sample (of participants) to be studied as a representative of entire populations. The importance of sampling is to improve the accuracy of research results by selecting representative samples to avoid bias (Taherdoost, 2016). The selected samples are studied thoroughly, and if they are representative of entire populations, the results could be extrapolated or generalized.
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Random sampling is one of the available sampling methods used by researchers. In this method, participants are picked randomly from a population, and thus each has an equal probability of being selected as part of the final sample for a study. I also learned about stratified random sampling, which is mainly used in cases where the population under study has different groups or strata. In this case, researchers use this sampling strategy to ensure that each group is fairly represented in the final sample.
Research can help to make nursing practice safe by allowing nurse researchers to implement the knowledge that they have acquired on the floor and during research to inform evidence-based practice. This assertion means that instead of relying on theoretical models that may not be applicable in certain cases of care practice, nurses could be in a position to apply what has been proved to work elsewhere or improve on mistakes learned in different scenarios, thus avoiding the repeat of the same mistakes, which ultimately improves patient safety.
Research is critical for creating an evidence-based nursing practice because it exposes nurse researchers to real-life situations, which allows for the gathering of a solid base of evidence to build stronger practice (Black, Balneaves, Garossino, Puyat, & Qian, 2015). The new knowledge generated through research also contributes significantly to evidence-based practice, thus improving patient care, safety, and outcomes. Research allows nurses to use their experience to hypothesize, theorize, design studies, and collect data leading to better care outcomes through evidence-based practice.
Research is important in nursing practice because it contributes to knowledge and care outcomes, and thus nurses should understand the basics of research. Through quantitative research methodologies, researchers derive facts from data using statistical analysis. Qualitative research allows researchers to collect data based on the participants’ lived experiences. Sampling plays an important role in research as it allows researchers to determine the sample for the study. Finally, the research could play a central role in enhancing patient safety by contributing to evidence-based practice.
Black, A. T., Balneaves, L. G., Garossino, C., Puyat, J. H., & Qian, H. (2015). Promoting evidence-based practice through a research training program for point-of-care clinicians. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 45(1), 14-20.
Ingham-Broomfield, R. (2014). A nurses’ guide to quantitative research. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 32(2), 32-39.
Squires, A., & Dorsen, C. (2018). Qualitative research in nursing and health professions regulation. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 9(3), 15-26.
Taherdoost, H. (2016). Sampling methods in research methodology: How to choose a sampling technique for research. SSRN Electronic Journal, 5(2),18-27.