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Nurses and Qualitative Research

Nurses rely on their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) preparation, coworker assistance and evidence-based research to provide optimal patient care. An ever-growing amount of research is available to nurses, and once they have pinpointed relevant research, they can implement it into their nursing practice.

What Is Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) in Nursing?

Nurses incorporate evidence-based practice into the delivery of patient care. The process involves collecting, assessing and applying research findings. Research gathered through EBP improves clinical decision-making, work environments and patient outcomes.

What Are the Two Types of EBP Research?

The two varieties of EBP research are quantitative and qualitative. Nurses utilize quantitative or qualitative research in order to evaluate the best interventions for patients. They also may gather information by performing quantitative or qualitative research. The data nurses collect helps them determine how to proceed with patient care.

What Is Qualitative Research?

The origin of qualitative research traces back to the early twentieth century. Sociologists and anthropologists used qualitative research to study cultures and communities living in foreign locations. Today qualitative research is used in behavioral sciences, marketing and healthcare. The objective of qualitative research is to answer how and why a particular phenomenon occurs. What makes up a phenomenon is also important to the conclusion of qualitative research.

What Are the Methods of Qualitative Research?

Nurses can employ these qualitative research methods:

  • Grounded theory.
  • Ethnography.
  • Phenomenology.

Nurses choose the appropriate method depending on the research question. For example, if nurses want to know the steps involved in the occurrence of a phenomenon, they would select grounded theory. Nurses who are interested in understanding a phenomenon execute the phenomenology method. Ethnography delves into the study of behaviors related to health and illness.

How Is Qualitative Research Conducted?

Qualitative research is a compilation of data. Nurses incorporate several techniques to accumulate information. They may perform the following:

  • Interviews.
  • Focus groups.
  • Observations.
  • Analysis of written materials.

In healthcare, nurses tend to carry out semi-structured interviews. The interview may include a topic and open-ended questions. The interview discussion may be adapted to changes in the conversation so nurses can record a patient’s experiences and attitudes about their healthcare. This kind of interview builds a rapport between nurses and their patients, which can lead to insightful views and descriptions from patients that may uncover issues and concerns that need to be addressed.

Why Is Qualitative Research Important?

Qualitative research consists of many components such as systems, processes, best practices, observations and personal experiences that are put together to establish a useful resource. The knowledge garnered from qualitative research allows nurses to gain a new perspective about patient care or validate a proper course of action. The research explains unique and complicated information that is not proved quantitatively.

What Are the Factors of Qualitative Research?

The factors that make up qualitative research may expose obstacles in healthcare as well as enlighten nurses about how patients perceive their quality of their care. Nurses may survey patients about:

  • Service preferences.
  • Attitude toward healthcare.
  • Motivation for seeking treatment.
  • Decision influences.
  • Cultural sensitivity.

Where Do Nurses Learn About Qualitative Research?

Nurses enrolled in a BSN program will likely will learn about quantitative and qualitative research. In Lamar University’s online RN to BSN degree program, students will complete the course called Nursing Inquiry and Evidence-Based Practice. The curriculum examines the basic elements of the research process, nursing inquiry and evidence-based practice. Students are instructed about the acquisition, analysis, evaluation, and utilization of research and application of the findings to the nursing practice.

To provide exceptional patient care in an ever-evolving and complex healthcare system, nurses need to continue discovering innovative ways to practice nursing. When nurses complete an RN to BSN program they are prepared for integrating qualitative research into their nursing practice.

Nurses are a valuable asset and the key to advancing patient care. Through communication and collaboration with patients, peers and researchers, nurses can reduce risk by staying informed about the latest and most successful options for positive patient outcomes.

Learn more about the Lamar University online RN to BSN program.


SQUMJ: Qualitative Research and its Uses in Health Care

The Journal of Nursing Administration: Promoting Evidence-Based Practice Through a Research Training Program for Point-of-Care Clinicians

Wolters Kluwer Health: Exploring Evidence-Based Practice Research

Kango Kenkyu: Mixed Methods in Nursing Research: An Overview and Practical Examples

Clinical Nurse Specialist: Qualitative Research Findings as Evidence: Utility in Nursing Practice

Qualitative Research Consultants Association: What Is Qualitative Research?

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