N494: Essentials of Nursing Research



N494 Essentials of Nursing Research introduces the steps of the research process and the role of research in the practice of professional nursing. The methods and analytical tools required to critically evaluate nursing research literature are emphasized.  Quantitative and qualitative approaches are highlighted. The focus of this course is developing the foundations for accessing and analyzing current nursing research literature to enable the professional nurse to apply research to current practice and issues. The skills of using technology to locate research information are developed, and the essential role of databases is explored. An understanding of ethical research practices is explored. This course prepares students to be critical consumers of evidence based research, and serves as a foundation for graduate-level nursing research courses. 

Welcome to your course in the School of Nursing at Aspen University! This course will build on your previous courses to problem-solve complex nursing problems.

Being Successful: The most critical strategy for being successful in an online course is to have a clear plan about how you will manage your time on a weekly basis. Most module assignments will be due each week, so this requires that you create a daily schedule for how you will approach the weekly tasks in each module. Please review this website for some tips on how to be successful in online classes: http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2013/01/14/5-tips-to-succeed-in-an-online-course. Below is an example of how you could organize your daily schedule to address the module tasks each week.

  • Tuesday: Review assignment descriptions for this week; Begin reading textbook and supplemental resources; Determine additional requirements for assignments (e.g., interviewing individuals, acquiring school related documents, observing others, etc.); Review the rubric for grading the assignments, if available.
  • Wednesday: Brainstorm and create outline for assignments based on assignments requirements; Identify needed resources; Continue reading textbook and supplemental resources.
  • Thursday: Create a substantive discussion posting, based on evidence-based research and post it according to the instructions in your course room. Finish reading textbook and supplemental resources; Start rough draft of assignments based on outline you created.
  • Friday: Continue writing; Support your claims with references, as needed.
  • Saturday: Finish rough drafts; Check to make sure assignments address ALL the components of the assignments description; Compare your draft to the criteria in the assignment rubric, if available.
  • Sunday: Start final drafts; Edit and revise rough drafts; Polish ideas and focus on organization, flow, and transition of ideas; Strengthen support for your ideas by providing solid citations. Finish virtual assignments, if assigned that week.
  • Monday: Review final drafts; Focus on mechanics, APA formatting details, spelling, grammar, etc.; Double-check that the assignments address ALL the components required of the assignments description; Submit assignments to instructor.

Finally, you should log-in to your online course every day to check on any updated news from your instructor or classmates, as well as answer and respond to the weekly Discussion Questions.

Instructor: Your enrollment letter from Aspen University provided you with the name and contact information for your instructor.  Please refer to that email. Your instructor is a valuable resource who expects you to reach out if you are struggling. Because the instructor has expertise in the area being taught, do not hesitate to ask questions of your instructor.

Academic Honesty: Students need to read and understand the University policy related to academic dishonesty and plagiarism. All student work should be original and should include references where appropriate and use proper APA citation rules when quoting, summarizing, or paraphrasing other sources or the thoughts and words of other individuals. Failure to follow this policy could result in dismissal from the University.

Course Description:

N494 Essentials of Nursing Research introduces the steps of the research process and the role of research in the practice of professional nursing. The methods and analytical tools required to critically evaluate nursing research literature are emphasized.  Quantitative and qualitative approaches are highlighted. The focus of this course is developing the foundations for accessing and analyzing current nursing research literature to enable the professional nurse to apply research to current practice and issues. The skills of using technology to locate research information are developed, and the essential role of databases is explored. An understanding of ethical research practices is explored. This course prepares students to be critical consumers of evidence based research, and serves as a foundation for graduate-level nursing research courses.

University Mission and Goals:

The graduate from Aspen University…

  1. Exhibits self-directed learning that demonstrates professional behavior and ethics,
  2. Functions successfully in multiple roles and teams showing cultural competence,
  3. Exhibits a self-awareness of professional behavior through leadership and advocacy,
  4. Demonstrates professional performance through research by using evidence-based practices, and
  5. Leverages technology to produce high-value work products.

Program Goals: 

The mission of the RN to BSN Program is to prepare nurses for a broader scope of practice, enhance their professional development, and provide a better understanding of the cultural, political, economic, and social issues that affect patients and influence care delivery. Nurses will be prepared to assume roles that demand critical-thinking, decision-making, communication, and leadership skills.

The goals of the RN-to-BSN program are to educate professional nurse generalists who emulate the following characteristics and behaviors:

  • Professional Behavior/Ethics: Develop a personal values system and value-based behaviors that include the capacity to make and act upon ethical judgments
  • Cultural Competence: Recognize the need for evidence-based knowledge and sensitivity to variables such as age, gender, culture, health disparities, socioeconomic status, race, and spirituality
  • Research and Evidence-Based Practice: Use research findings and other evidence in designing, implementing, and evaluating care that is multidimensional, high quality, cost-effective and leads to improved patient outcomes
  • Leadership/Advocacy: Work within organizational and community arenas to promote high quality patient care through organizational and systems leadership, quality improvement, and safety
  • Technology: Design and implement measures to modify risk factors and promote healthy lifestyles, utilizing emerging advances in science and technology

Anticipated Program Student Learning Outcomes:

The RN-to-BSN courses have been designed to meet the AACN Baccalaureate Essentials and to support the transition into the graduate-level nursing courses for those who wish to pursue continued education. The unique goals of the RN-to-BSN program are to prepare associate-degree and diploma nurses with the knowledge and skills to deliver safe, cost-effective, and quality nursing care. Upon completion of the RN-to-BSN program, students should be able to:

  • Analyze the impact of economic, demographic and technological forces on health care delivery, and the concerns relating to ethical, legal, and social issues that influence nursing practice.
  • Apply a solid foundation of research and theory, focusing on the interrelationships and application of these concepts to nursing practice, education, and leadership
  • Improve population health across the lifespan and across the continuum of healthcare environments through health promotion and disease prevention strategies
  • Explore leadership and management concepts that directly and indirectly influence the nature and functioning of the healthcare system and professional nursing practice
  • Assess health among a diverse patient population, devising strategies for the prevention and early detection of disease across the life span
  • Integrate professional values, attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors into nursing practice

Professional Standards 

AACN Baccalaureate Essentials:

  1. Liberal education for baccalaureate generalist nursing practice
  2. Basic organizational and systems leadership for quality care and patient safety
  3. Scholarship for evidence-based practice
  4. Information management and application of patient care technology
  5. Healthcare policy, finance, and regulatory environments
  6. Interprofessional communication and collaboration for improving patient health outcomes
  7. Clinical prevention and population health
  8. Professionalism and professional values
  9. Baccalaureate generalist nursing practice

IOM Core Competencies:

  1. Patient-centered care
  2. Work in interdisciplinary teams
  3. Evidence-based practice
  4. Quality improvement
  5. Informatics

Course Goals

This course has been based on the following learning goals. At the completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Articulate the role of research in the development of nursing knowledge.
  • Describe the basic concepts, techniques, and methodologies underlying the research process and their application in the study of nursing problems.
  • Identify researchable clinical nursing problems.
  • Use information technology to retrieve hierarchical levels of evidence that addresses clinical questions.
  • Utilize effective critical thinking and written communication skills in the critique of research for applicability to nursing practice.
  • Integrate research findings into nursing practice to meet the changing needs of clients and professional nursing.
  • Describe current research priorities in nursing.
  • Identify legal, ethical and cultural considerations in research that involves human subjects.

Prerequisites: None.

http://i1.istockimg.com/file_thumbview_approve/45953674/5/stock-photo-45953674-open-book.jpgCourse Materials

  • American Psychological Association. (2009) Publication manual of the American Psychological Association(6th). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. ISBN: 978-1433805615.
  • Nieswiadomy, R. M. (2012). Foundations of Nursing Research (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson. 978-0-13-211857-6

Course Structure and Calendar 

Modules: A course is divided into 8 modules. Each module will present you with a topic, the associated sections in the text, and essay questions. Students should work to complete the course modules in order. All essays within a module must be submitted at the same time.

Important: University policy requires every student to perform a substantive assignment during the first week of every course to avoid automatic administrative withdrawal from that course.  The purpose of the policy is to ensure every student: understands what the course covers; resolves any confusion about what the course covers; submits the assignment; and participates in a discussion.  This exercise helps remove barriers to progress that can disrupt and discourage students.

Failure to respond to the Discussion Question by Day 3 and submit the First Required Assignment by the end of the 7th day of class after the official start date will result in an automatic administrative withdrawal of the student from the course.

Module 1: Introduction to Nursing Research and the Ethical Conduct of Research

Module 2: Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Research Process

Module 3: Review of the Literature and Understanding the Nursing Research Problem

Module 4: Understanding Theory and Research Frameworks and Hypotheses

Module 5: Clarifying Research Designs: Qualitative and Quantitative

Module 6: Measuring, Collecting, and Analyzing Data

Module 7: Critiquing Research for Nursing Practice

Module 8: Outcomes Research and Building an Evidence-Based Practice, Self-Reflection

Module 8 will also provide you an opportunity to provide your instructor as well as the university with feedback on this course.

Course Assignments

Knowledge acquisition

  • Required reading- Each module will provide you with a section of the textbook that corresponds to the topics discussed in the module. Students must read this section prior to completing all other assignments or discussion.
  • Additional activities (e.g. internet research, videos, etc.)- Additional activities may be provided for the student based on the subject matter discussed in the module.

Knowledge and Skill Verification (Essay questions, etc.)

  • Content- You will be given a series of essay questions per module meant to encourage further contemplation on the topics discussed in the module and, in many cases, apply the information to real-world situations.
  • Length- Each essay question responses should adequately and completely answer the essay question posed. Specific length requirements will be given for each assignment. Students are expected to utilize the necessary length of the response in order to sufficiently answer the question.
  • Acceptable style and references- Essay question responses should be written using APA formatting, and all references should be provided. For more information on APA formatting, please see the Aspen University APA Style Guide.
  • Submission- Each module provides an Essay Questions and Submissions section in which students will find a list of associated essay questions for that module, as well as an assignment submission tool.

Discussion Forums

  • Discussion questions and forums are provided in each module to enhance the results of knowledge and skill verification. These questions and forums are provided in each module for improving learning skills and to enhance and improve the results of the reflection.

Your enrollment letter for Aspen University provided you with the URL to Aspen’s Policies.  If you have questions, please feel free to contact your Academic Advisor identified in your enrollment email, or call 800-373-7814.

BENCHMARK assignments in week eight must be completed to a level of 70% to demonstrate course outcomes and pass course.

Grading Scale:

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