Discovering Nursing Research

Readings and Overview

Topic 1
About nursing research

Topic 2
Research and practice

Topic 3
Past to present

Topic 4
Quantitative and Qualitative





Nursing research past to present


Objective 5. Describe the development of nursing research from Florence Nightingale into the 21st century.]

How did nursing research begin?
Nursing research began with Florence Nightingale. She researched a variety of topics that have had a lasting impact on the practice of nursing. She is perhaps most well known for her work during the Crimean War when her research related to deaths and disability among the soldiers provided her with information to change the attitudes and practices of the military when caring for wounded and sick soldiers. These changes resulted in an amazing decrease in the mortality rate from 43% to 2%. After the war Nightingale applied her skills and knowledge to research that would result in improved living conditions, better water sanitation, and changes in society.

What topics have been the focuses of nursing research since Nightingale?

  • 1930s through 1940s the focus was on nursing education
  • 1950s through 1960s the focus was on nurses and nursing roles
  • 1970s through 1990s the focus has been on clinical problems

What has been the history of nursing research since Nightingale?


Week #1 Activity 3

Read the information on the historical development of nursing research in Burns and Grove, pages 9-13 (2003). Post the answers to the assignment on the class discussion board no later than midnight on Tuesday, Sept 5.

1. Identify what you consider to be four key historical events in the development of research in nursing and present the rationale for choosing each.

2. Focus your entries on prioritizing these historical events. Why have you chosen to prioritize these particular events?

3. What do you see as the future of research in nursing?

4. Name three factors you think will increase or decrease the conduct of nursing research. Provide a rationale for each factor you identify.

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