Reviews

The Research Process in Nursing

Although there are an increasing number of texts available to nurses in respect of research, The Research Process in Nursing makes a unique contribution. It has stood the test of time having been in print since 1984, and has been a key text for many nurses wishing to learn about or undertake research. This complete revision brings a welcome updating of a comprehensive text which is grounded within UK nursing and nursing research.

It is organised in six sections: the first, Setting the Scene, deals with background issues relevant to research. Preparing the Ground examines the necessary steps that one must consider before commencing a research project, including research governance. In Choosing the Right Approach, the reader is taken through some of the philosophical underpinnings of the different research methods before being introduced to nine common research approaches in some detail. Sections four and five cover Collecting Data and Making Sense of Data. These assist the would-be researcher by providing practical guidance on the ‘How to…’ of research.

Although each of the preceding five sections are very important, for me the key section is the final one, Putting Research into Practice. By and large the reason that nurses undertake research and read about the latest research findings is in order to improve patient care. In this section the question of dissemination is discussed

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It is organised in six sections: the first, Setting the Scene, deals with background issues relevant to research. Preparing the Ground examines the necessary steps that one must consider before commencing a research project, including research governance. In Choosing the Right Approach, the reader is taken through some of the philosophical underpinnings of the different research methods before being introduced to nine common research approaches in some detail. Sections four and five cover Collecting Data and Making Sense of Data. These assist the would-be researcher by providing practical guidance on the ‘How to…’ of research.

Although each of the preceding five sections are very important, for me the key section is the final one, Putting Research into Practice. By and large the reason that nurses undertake research and read about the latest research findings is in order to improve patient care. In this section the question of dissemination is discussed and the nature of evidence based practice examined. The section goes on to consider the all important question of how one implements evidence based practice.

In the body of the text each section commences with a brief outline. The chapters which comprise a section each identify key points to guide the reader and act as advance markers of the substance of the chapter. Chapters are well structured with the use of sub-headings to break up the text and guide the reader.

The judicious use of ‘Boxes’ brings additional or key information to the fore.

In some chapters the Boxes are used to highlight a key paper relevant to the discussion and provide a brief outline or critique of the paper. Each chapter concludes with a comprehensive reference list and a list of relevant websites, and further reading if appropriate.

This is a text that is hard to criticise. It is comprehensive and well-written. It is practically useful. It compels the reader to think and read beyond the text. It is supported by chapter authors who bring a wealth of expertise to this text. No matter what your level of research experience there is something in this book for everyone.

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