The Major Steps in Conducting Nursing Research

Nursing research requires developing the premeditated steps to plan, carry out, and report findings in a proper manner. The introduction of a detailed outline that serves as a core of the proposal and study plans eases a researcher’s work. In addition, it reflects the problem raised by an expert, its importance, and the determination of subsequent steps for its resolution. Particular attention is paid to funding and the approximate cost of a study. The current paper seeks to examine seven steps that a researcher should undertake during the exploration process as its outcome directly depends on the accurate implementation of all actions. The first step is the formulation of a research question. It has to be expedient, interesting, original, relevant, and ethical. While some researchers raise one question, others prefer to examine several ones. In some studies, a question serves as a hypothesis that an individual seeks to test during a study. The second step is the literature review. An expert or a team of specialists needs to detect if similar research has ever been conducted before to avoid repetition and waste of time. If a certain issue has already been researched, there is no necessity to work on this project. However, most researchers choose to replicate studies engaging other participants (Whittemore, 2005). The Internet and available databases may help one to find a relevant topic to explore. The third step requires designing the process of a study. At this stage, a researcher is concerned with the chosen topic, particular conditions, the type of information, the way it has to be collected, and the steps that have to be carried out after the data have been gathered and examined. The stage of design is related to a research question. For example, if a researcher wants to reveal whether or not the hereditary factor affects one’s smoking habit, an expert develops a questionnaire and engages nurses to carry out a survey nationwide. The fourth step is the access and approval. Before engaging patients and medical staff in the study, competent bodies, including research ethics committees, have to grant the ethical approval that adheres to research governance arrangements (Lake & Friese, 2006). The main goal of this stage is to promote safety and protect the rights, well-being, and dignity of research participants. Independent experts have to decide whether a study is ethical or it requires changes. A research team has to get the approval from the competent authorities to begin a study. The fifth step is the collection of the necessary information. Once researchers have obtained the permission, a team starts conducting research. This stage involves visiting patients, gathering relevant personal information, asking questions about well-being, fears, and expectations in a form of interviews, and applying other data collection methods (Polit & Beck, 2004). A researcher records answers and then thoroughly examines them and compares with other results and information. The sixth step is to analyze the collected data and interpret it in a proper manner. Despite a perfect design, a research may require improvements. All the gathered information, including figures, photographs, and recordings of interviews, have to be managed properly so that an expert can make the right conclusions in relation to the chosen hypothesis (Burns & Grove, 2011). The way research is carried out depends on the type of collected information. Lastly, in the seventh stage of a study, researchers present and disseminate the findings. They provide details and outcomes in a form of a report that becomes available to the competent authorities that have approved it. A study produces important findings that may encourage researchers to make changes in nursing practice. In addition, the quality of work is of high priority for every investigator. In conclusion, nursing research is successful if it has achieved the set goal, reached a wide audience, and produced significant findings. Owing to their proficiency and expertise, practicing nurses can carry out effective studies that are relevant to the medical profession. A research question should reflect the ethically sound and structured framework in which an expert is going to work. The seven steps of nursing research include the formulation of a question, the literature review, the designing of the process of a study, the approval by relevant authorities, the collection of data, the analysis and interpretation of data, and the presentation of results.

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