Sample Nursing Essays on Nursing Investigation

Nursing Investigation

The word “research” in itself refers to studying some phenomenon with the intention of validating and refining existing knowledge as well as coming up with new knowledge. The nursing profession to changes as times goes by, and the development of new nursing knowledge or refining the existing nursing knowledge is important. It is in such situations that nursing research becomes very vital. Nursing research is a perspective that began several year ago and has evolved over time to what we see in society today. With this in mind, this paper explores the evolution of nursing research with a further focus on the use of different approaches to data analysis in nursing research.

Nursing research is known to have begun with Florence Nightingale in the late 1850s with one of her major publications, Notes on Nursing. Several studies of the early 1900s were also concerned with the education of nurses. In the 1930s, several occasions started funding nursing research with the first of these being Sigma Theta Tau that funded nursing in the U.S. with an award of $600 to one Alice Crist Malone. Between the 1940s and 1950s, studies of nursing education were initiated by various governments, and this was triggered by the heightened demand for nursing personnel particularly during the Second World War (Suresh, 2014). In the 1960s, there were concerns among stakeholders in the global nursing sector about the reduced levels of research in nursing practice. The 1970s witnessed a change in the emphasis in nursing research from usual areas of teaching and nurses themselves to improvements in nursing care. This signified a growing awareness among nursing professionals of the need for evidence-based practice. The 1970s also saw nursing research expand internationally. In the 1980s, the focus was more on the method used to collect and analyse information used in nursing practice, the linking of research to theory, as well as the use of the research outcomes in nursing practice. One of the milestones in the evolution of nursing research came in 1986 when the U.S. established the National Center for Nursing Research (NCNR) at an institution known as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (Suresh, 2014). Nursing research came into maturity in the 1990s with funding increasing at the time. In the turn of the 21st century, there was continued focus on evidence-based practice with greater emphasis om systematic reviews. The turn of the 21st century also saw the expansion of dissemination of research findings and increased visibility of nursing research.

Nursing research, like any other type of research, may use qualitative or quantitative research designs. This means that almost similar approaches to data analysis are used in nursing research. For instance, in the case of analyzing qualitative data collected during nursing research, two approaches may be used (Andrist, Nicholas, & Wolf, 2005). One of the approaches is examining the nursing research findings with a pre-defined framework reflecting the research’s aims and objectives. Another approach in such a case is taking an exploratory perspective where the researcher is encouraged to consider and code all data. This approach often allows for new impressions that shape the interpretation (Andrist, Nicholas, & Wolf, 2005). This approach is also known as thematic network analysis.

In brief, as discussed above, nursing research has undergone significant changes since it began with Florence Nightingale in the 1850s. Today, nursing research focuses more on evidence-based practice. The increased demand for nursing practice in society today has also seen improvements such as the construction of nursing research centers such as the NCNR.




Andrist, L. C., Nicholas, P. K., & Wolf, K. A. (2005). History of nursing ideas. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett. Retrieved from

Suresh, S. (2014). Nursing Research and Statistics. London: Elsevier Health Sciences APAC. Retrieved from