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Research 101

Solid research and evidence are the backbone of quality nursing care. Unfortunately, many nurses—both seasoned veterans and novices—are unfamiliar with interpreting data and putting it to real-world clinical use. Our Research 101 articles provide user-friendly explanations, tips, and applications for the research you need to practice at the top of your profession. You’ll also find this information useful when you embark on your own research projects.

Introduction to qualitative nursing research

This type of research can reveal important information that quantitative research can’t. Takeaways: Qualitative research is valuable because it approaches a phenomenon, such as a clinical problem, about which little is known by trying to...

Navigating statistics for successful project implementation

Don’t let lack of statistics knowledge keep you from engaging in projects to improve patient care. Takeaways Use the specific aim and/or hypothsis of your project to guide selection of measures. Select statistics for the...

Nurse research and the institutional review board

Learn how the IRB process works to ensure participant safety and quality research. Takeaways: The institutional review board (IRB) process is intended to ensure study participant safety and high-quality research. Work with colleagues familiar with...
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Research 101: Descriptive statistics

Use these tools to analyze data vital to practice-improvement projects. By Brian Conner, PhD, RN, CNE and Emily Johnson, PhD Takeaways: Nurses at every level should be able to understand and apply basic statistical analyses related...

Research 101: Forest plots

Patient care decisions must be made based on the current best evidence, and nurses critically appraise many kinds of research designs and their associated statistical analyses to determine what they know about a clinical...

Understanding confidence intervals helps you make better clinical decisions

PERHAPS YOU DIDN’T LEARN about the confidence interval (CI) in your formal education or you don’t hear the term in daily conversation. Confidence interval just doesn’t roll of the tongue of a staff nurse quite like blood pressure or urine output does. But knowing the importance...

Differentiating statistical significance and clinical significance

To implement evidence-based practice, nurses must be able to comprehend and interpret research. That means you need to understand the distinction between statistical significance and clinical significance. Although the two concepts are related, they’re...

Differentiating research, evidence-based practice, and quality improvement

All nurses should know and understand the differences among these three concepts.

Are you confident about confidence intervals?

The confidence interval yields information on how confident researchers are about the success of a studied intervention.

Making sense of statistical power

Want to improve your ability to interpret research studies? Take a few minutes to read this overview of power analysis, probability, sample size, and related concepts.

The P value: What it really means

Using the P value to determine the best evidence.