Nursing Research Methods – Care Example

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"Nursing Research Methods" is a good example of a paper on care. Research in nursing is an important practice, aimed at providing patient care of high quality. Nursing research helps evaluate the effectiveness of nursing treatment modalities. Nursing research, in essence, refers to the controlled, empirical, systematic, and critical investigation. This essay will analyze ethnography, action research, phenomenology, and grounded theory as nursing research methods. The philosophical underpinnings, characteristics, strengths and weaknesses, and relevance to the nursing practice of these research methods will be examined. Ethnography This research method is based on the description and interpretation of a social or cultural group or system.

The researcher analyzes the behavioral observable and learned patterns. The major benefit of this method is; the researcher obtains first-hand information from the research group (Holloway & Wheeler, 2010, p. 220). Since people become cautious when they are being watched, results may fail to reflect the actual situation; a weakness experienced in this method. This method is useful to nursing practice since a nurse should be able to make judgments based on observation. Their observation is the main tool for making practice-based decisions. Grounded theory Grounded theory is rooted in the philosophy of using facts to make decisions.

A researcher collects data, analyzes it, and then develops a theory grounded in the data. (Daniels, 2004, p. 119). The testing of hypotheses, in this case, means that no half-baked theories are given attention. This is the strength of this method. It also has some shortcomings, which include the fact that the sample population from which data collected may not be representative of the entire population. Following this method, a nurse learns to make decisions that are relevant to practice; these decisions have to be based on facts. Phenomenology The only person who can relate to an event in its actual sense is the person who has had first-hand experience.

This is the philosophy on which this method is founded. Respondents in the research describe their experiences as they perceive them (Polifko, 2010, p. 377). This method is characterized by the researcher basing their theory on the first-person account of their study population; either spoken or written. When a person is relating to something that happened to them, they are liable to lie or exaggerate in order to make the story interesting.

This will compromise the information meant to be used to make a decision (Holloway & Wheeler, 2010, p. 219). In the nursing practice, a professional will often have to rely on the account of their client in making health care decisions. From this research method, a learns how to pick out the relevant details from a story that is going to affect decision-making. Action Research Action research is rooted in the philosophy by Kurt Levin, who said, “ There is no research without action, and there is no action without research. ” It is a process of using deliberate means of getting information on different situations.

The main characteristic of this approach is the Look-Think-Act cycle. This approach has the benefit of empowering researchers by giving them vast knowledge with which to improve their practice (Daniels, 2004, p. 135). This process is, however, liable to bias. This approach is relevant since it makes professionals willing to repeat a procedure, making changes until the appropriate health care regimen is established.


Daniels, R. (2004). Nursing fundamentals: caring & clinical decision making. Stamford: Cengage Learning.

Holloway, I., & Wheeler, S. (2010). Qualitative Research in Nursing and Healthcare. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons.

Polifko, K. A. (2010). The practice environment of nursing: issues & trends. Stamford: Cengage Learning.

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