INTRODUCTION TO NURSING RESEARCH
The meaning of the word ‘research’ is to find correct answers to questions raised or to find solutions to problems identified.
In the past and for many years,people based their beliefs on presumptions or interpretations of things that they saw or observed in and around them and then came to various conclusions. These conclusions were not tested to find out whether they were correct (valid) or not.
For example, in ancient days, in Egypt, every year Nile river flooded and it left behind very rich soil along the riverbanks which helped people to grow crops for the year. But along with the rich soil, a large number of frogs also appeared. Therefore, the Egyptian concluded that frogs came from muddy soil. Here we can say that scientific research was not used because the people never gave a thought if there can be any other reason for the large number of frogs living in the floods. Later problems were scientifically analysed based on data this is called scientific enquiry.
Every one will agree that if "Health is lost, everything is lost". Nursing is a profession and practice which serves as the foundation in providing care for the sick and needy. The challenges faced by the nursing fraternity is enormous. Thus research becomes the need and necessity in this noble profession.
Nursing is the profession and practice of providing care for the sick and needy. Nurses play significant role in taking care of people. Nursing plays an vital role in the research activity. A well developed and reliable body of knowledge is a foundation for any course of study. Research provides a solid foundation on which individual can develop and refine their basic knowledge and practice. Without knowledge we cannot improve in accustoming people to the latest techniques and therapies like infant care, pain management, grief counseling, health education, home care management, palliative care and related intervention.
Research on nursing practices began slowly, but since 1950, it has been accelerating rapidly. Nursing research continues to develop at a rapid phase and will undoubtedly flourish in the twenty-first century. Broadly speaking, the priority for nursing research in the future will be the promotion of excellence in nursing practices.
Nowadays Health professionals believe in development of knowledge from logical reasoning and problem solving. It helps in identification of problem and planning evidence based care.
Nurses must acquire knowledge in both unstructured and structured method. In unstructured method, own experience,trial and error are followed. The structured method includes logical reasoning, problem solving and the research is conducted in a disciplined format. In general, nurses try to understand a question / problem and search for possible solutions.
The quality of nursing practice and the future of health care depends on up-to-date organized body of nursing knowledge. Research is based on existing ideas and to improve the knowledge of the individuals. The purpose of the systematic inquiry is to find out the evidence based method of solving the problem identified.
The present era of complex health problems makes interdisciplinary research, an important one to find out the study of health and illness experiences of the society. Currently a lot of attention is being paid to research on nursing, which it seems will continue in the years to come, and will have its implications and impact on nurse administrators, nurse educators, as well as practitioners.
Hence, an expanded new knowledge is required for a growing profession. The health care professionals should realize that nursing is developing rapidly and they must be ready to take challenges of currently growing demand of new knowledge and to refine old outdated knowledge.
The word research is derived from the French term researcher, a compound word composed of a prefix ‘re’ and a verb ‘search’. Re means ‘once again’ ‘a new’, or ‘a fresh’ and search means ‘to look for something’.
It is an systematic inquiry of investigation to validate and refine existing knowledge and to generate and refine existing knowledge and generate new knowledge.
Research is a systematic inquiry that uses disciplined methods to answer questions to solve problems.
Ultimate goal of research is to develop, refine and explore a body of knowledge.
Research is a systematic and scientific process to solve problems or to answer to questions about facts. Nursing research focuses primarily on developing knowledge about nursing including the care of person in health and illness.
In general, Nursing research is defined as the systematic objective process of analysing phenomena of importance to nursing.
According to Waltz and Bausell (1981) Nursing research is a systematic formal rigorous process used to gain solutions to problem or to discover and interpret new facts in clinical practice, nursing education and nursing administration.
Wilson (1980) Differentiated nursing research and research in nursing. In that nursing research is concerned with clinical problem. Whereas research in nursing is the broader study of the nursing profession which includes historical, ethical and policy studies.