Why Does Research Matter in Nursing Programs?

In any professional field, research is necessary to advance and improve practices. Nursing is no different, and nursing research has the potential to revolutionize healthcare. Nurses with research skills are equipped for evidence-based practice to ensure better standards for caregiving.

Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) programs cover research in depth. Nurses completing an online RN to BS in Nursing degree program can apply their practical experience to improve healthcare via research. Students who are particularly passionate about the research aspect of nursing may even go on to become nurse researchers.

Research Is a Vital Part of 21st Century Nursing Education

Nurses teach, organize community health, work in business, and of course, work in the clinical setting. Research is important for all of these areas, and nurses should be a part of that research.

Research and scientific inquiry also help students develop analytical thinking and problem-solving skills. If they observe a consistent pattern of a practice, procedure or method that helps patients, they can pursue those discoveries and either conduct or propose a study on those issues. It does not mean they need to act like lab assistants or constantly look for ways to change things; it means that they have the power to approach their jobs with a critical eye.

Nursing research is vital to improving healthcare delivery and outcomes. Understanding the research process helps nurses approach any job with critical thinking skills.

This is one of the reasons that Magnet hospitals seek nurses with BSNs. Even in clinical positions, nurses who can focus on issues with a critical eye and employ creative problem-solving strategies in difficult situations are in demand. Because clinical situations present many difficult problems and decisions, research and analytical skills help nurses perform clinical duties better.

The Role of Nurses in Research

BSN-prepared nurses can work as members of research teams to coordinate and manage research, collect data, ensure the well-being of study participants, and present at conferences. In other words, they can take a central role in the research process.

Research might take place in a clinical, university or community setting, with nurses studying ways to improve and streamline patient care. Health systems and outcomes research examines the availability and quality of healthcare services in a community and is vital to understanding and improving community health. Nursing education researchers study how students best learn nursing skills. Like any other researcher, they might start their careers as assistants, later developing and leading their own projects.

Clinical experience is vital to success as a nurse researcher, so students in online RN to BSN programs are particularly well-equipped to enter this field. They have experience with patients and may already have ideas about what works and what does not.

BSN-prepared nurses who enjoy research may also choose to enter the field of nursing research. Nurse researchers support and coordinate studies related to a wide range of clinical, community and education issues. Research organizations, pharma companies, teaching hospitals, and government agencies are some examples of job settings for nurse researchers. Whether in the hospital or public health environments, providers use this research to evaluate and improve healthcare for millions of people.

Learn more about the URI online RN to BS in Nursing program.


Journal of Nursing Education: The Importance of Nursing Research The Scope of Nursing Research

National Institute of Nursing Research: What Is Nursing Research?

RN Journal: Conducting Nursing Research How to Become a Research Nurse

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