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Importance of Research in Nursing

Rigorous nursing research provides a body of knowledge that helps advance nursing practice

Nurses provide direct care to their patients on a daily basis, so they know which approaches work well and which need adjusting. An essential trait of a caring, competent practitioner is questioning standard procedure and determining how to improve it. Nursing concerns are the heart of nursing research.

What Is Nursing Research?

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, rigorous nursing research provides a body of knowledge that helps advance nursing practice. The findings of such scientific inquiry may also help shape health policy and contribute to global healthcare. Nursing professionals are committed to the health and well-being of everyone. The research they conduct often has lasting impacts.

The National Institute of Nursing Research says that nursing research uncovers knowledge to build the foundation of clinical practice and reinforce the following:

  • Prevent disease and disability.
  • Manage symptoms of illness.
  • Enhance end-of-life care.

Nurses use research to effect positive outcomes for their patients and for others within the healthcare system. As patients’ needs become more complex and healthcare systems become more varied, nurses use evidence-based care by incorporating their own nursing research with their professional experience and a patient’s preferences. Nurses may conduct their own research, use research in their everyday practice and teach others using existing research.

Scientific Inquiry

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing uses three classifications of nursing research. These include clinical research, nursing education research and health systems and outcomes research. Clinical research looks at care for individuals across the spans of their entire lives, and nurses can carry out this research in any clinical setting. Nursing education research examines how students learn the nursing profession. Finally, health systems and outcomes research focuses on the quality, quantity and costs of healthcare services, including how to improve the delivery of care. These three areas provide the full scope of nursing research.

Role of Nursing Research in Online Programs

Students who enroll in online nursing programs may take courses in research that will help improve their skills. Courses in nursing research may introduce research design and analysis, giving the student a basis for learning how to examine, apply and utilize current knowledge. These courses also include evidence-based practice, and the student will receive an overview of current issues in knowledge development.

Today’s healthcare system is complex, and patients have increasingly varied needs. Developing solutions for the health issues of diverse populations requires providers with many different perspectives. Those enrolled in online nursing programs may become professionals who understand the need for nursing research and how to incorporate it into their own practice.

Learn more about the UNCW online RN to BSN program.


Retrieved from Evidence-Based Practice. (n.d.).

Retrieved from Nursing Research. (n.d.).

Retrieved from Nursing Research. (n.d.).

Retrieved from What is Nursing Research? (n.d.).

Retrieved from The Impact of Education on Nursing Practice. (n.d.)


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