Nursing research provides evidence used to support nursing practices. Florence Nightingale, a nurse during the nineteenth century, was the pioneer of research in nursing. In the present day, many nurses now work as researchers in universities and in the health care setting. The use of evidence from research in order to rationalise nursing interventions has been emphasized in nursing education. This has been termed “evidence-based nursing” or “evidence-informed nursing.”
Nursing research falls mainly under two areas:
- Qualitative research: examines the experience of those receiving or delivering nursing care. It is based on methodologies such as grounded theory, ethnography and phenomenology. The research methods most often used are interviews, case studies, focus groups and ethnography.
- Quantitative research: focuses on measurable outcomes for clients, generally using statistics. The main research method is the randomised controlled trial.
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