Approved by Faculty Senate.
University Studies Course Approval
Department or Program: Department of Nursing
Course Number: N375
Course Title: Nursing Research, Theory and Technology
Catalog Description: Basic concepts of research are introduced to assist the
student to read, interpret, and evaluate nursing research. The significance of
research findings to nursing practice is emphasized. This course is a flagged
course for University Studies and is designed to meet the requirements in
This is an existing course that has previously been approved by A2C2 X .
This is a new course proposal _____. (If this is a new course proposal, the
WSU Curriculum Approval Form must also be completed as in the process prescribed
by WSU Regulation 3-4.)
Department Contact Person for this course: Jacqueline Hatlevig Ph.D., RNC
The proposed course is designed to satisfy the
requirements in (select one area only):
A. Basic Skills: (October 4, 2000)
B. Arts & Sciences Core: (November 1, 2000)
______ 1. College Reading and Writing
______ 2. Oral Communication
______ 3. Mathematics
______ 4. Physical Development and Wellness
______ 1. Humanities
______ 2. Natural Science
______ 3. Social Science
______ 4. Fine & Performing Arts
C. Unity and Diversity: (January 17, 2001)
Flagged Courses: (February 14, 2001)
______ 1. Critical Analysis
______ 2. Science and Social Policy
______ 3. a. Global Perspectives
______ b. Multicultural Perspectives
______ 4. a. Contemporary Citizenship
______ b. Democratic Institutions
______ 1. Writing
______ 2. Oral
______ 3. a. Mathematics/ Statistics
___X__ b. Critical Analysis
The purpose of the Critical Analysis Flag Course requirement is to provide an
alternative to the M/S Flag requirement for students majoring in field that do
not make significant use of mathematics or statistics. C-Flagged courses are
intended to provide students with significant practice in rigorous argument
comparable to what a student is expected to receive in a
Critical analysis flag criteria
Related N375 Nursing Research, Theory and Technology Criteria
Related Course Assignments
a. recognize and evaluate appropriate evidence to advance a claim
See course description, course objective 2 and 3
Unit objective III-A, IV-C, V-A, V-B, VI-A
Weekly assignments-Weekly review of research articles
Critique Assignment-Written paper analyzing a nursing research article
b. apply critical analytical skills in making decisions or in advancing
a theoretical position
See course description, course objective 1, 2 and 3
Unit objective I, II-A,VI-B, VII-A
Weekly assignments-Weekly review of research articles
Synthesis project-Group project with students synthesizing nursing
research on a selected nursing topic and presenting a research proposal
c. evaluate alternative arguments, decision strategies, or theories
within a systematic framework
See course description, course objective 2 and 3
Unit objective IV-A, IV-C, V-A, V-B, VI-A, VII-A
Critique assignment and synthesis project
Submitted with this proposal is the N375 syllabus, which includes the course
description, course objectives, unit objectives, teaching strategies, text, and
Department Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved____ Date:______
Chairperson Signature_______________________ Date______
Dean's Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved ____*
Dean's Signature_______________________ Date______
*In the case of a Dean's recommendation to disapprove a proposal a
written rationale for the recommendation to disapprove shall be provided to
USS Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved____ Date:______
University Studies Director's Signature_______________________ Date______
A2C2 Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved_____ Date:______
A2C2 Chairperson Signature_______________________ Date______
Faculty Senate Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved____ Date:______
FA President's Signature_______________________ Date______
Academic Vice President's Recommendation:
Approved_____ Disapproved____ Date:______
VP's Signature_______________________ Date______
President's Decision: Approved_____ Disapproved____ Date:______
President's Signature_______________________ Date______
Basic concepts of research are introduced to assist the student to read,
interpret, and evaluate nursing research. The significance of research findings
to nursing practice is emphasized. This course is a flagged course for
University Studies and is designed to meet the requirements in critical
Critical Analysis Flag Courses (CAF) must include requirements and learning
activities that promote students' abilities to...
a. recognize and evaluate appropriate evidence to advance a claim;
b. apply critical analytical skills in making decisions or in advancing a
theoretical position; and
c. evaluate alternative arguments, decision strategies, or theories within a
Requirements and learning activities that facilitate these outcomes are
highlighted in bold underline script throughout this syllabus.
Implementation of the Organizing Framework:
The course helps students understand the role of theory, research, and
technology in nursing. Emphasis is placed on how nursing research can contribute
to practice as well as to nursing theory. Students work in groups to further
refine their group process skills as they critique research studies and
synthesize their knowledge of the research process in the analysis of several
studies. These studies focus on nursing process, influences on clients, coping
abilities, client education, elements of nursing practice that make a difference
to clients recovery, as well as other factors that influence nursing
practice. Research design, statistical analysis, ethical issues in research, the
nurses role in research and the application of technology are examined.
Students will explore the use of computers and technology in nursing for
processing and managing data to support the delivery of care.
Describe the importance of nursing theoretical frameworks as a basis for
nursing research and practice. CAF b
Describe the analytical process used in evaluating research. CAF a, b
Develop beginning skills to read, critically analyze and critique nursing
research. CAF a, b & c
Discuss the nurses role in the research process.
Relate potential applications of research findings to own nursing practice.
Describe ethical considerations in research process.
Interpret the nurses role in the research process.
Utilize selected software and technological modalities.
Explore the use of computer searches in the research process.
UNIT I: Relationship between theory and research
Integration of theory and research in clinical practice.
- Contribution of theory to the advancement of the profession of nursing.
UNIT II: Introduction to scientific research
Nursing and the Role of Research
- Describe ways in which research plays an important role in the
- Describe the relationship between nursing theory and nursing
- Discuss why learning about nursing research is important to
- The Scientific Approach
- Discuss the characteristics of the scientific approach.
- Identify several purposes of scientific research.
- Distinguish basic and applied research.
- Discuss ethical issues of informed consent, confidentiality, and
freedom from harm.
- Overview of the Research Process
- Describe the major steps in the research process and the function
that those steps fulfill.
- Distinguish independent and dependent variables.
- Describe the form, content, and style of a research report in a
journal as compared to a full report.
UNIT III: Preliminary steps in the research process
Contexts for Research Problems
- Describe several purposes of a literature review.
- Evaluate the adequacy of types of information included in a written
- Explain the difference between a primary and secondary source.
- Identify several bibliographic aids for nursing research problems.
- Research Problems and Hypotheses
- Identify sources and aspects of feasibility of a research problem.
- Evaluate a problem in terms of its researchability and feasibility.
- Evaluate the clarity, conceptual adequacy, and significance of a
- Describe the function of a research hypothesis.
- Distinguish different types of hypotheses (e.g., simple vs. complex,
directional vs. non-directional, research vs. statistical).
UNIT IV: Designs for nursing research
- Describe the characteristics of experimental, quasi-experimental,
and non-experimental designs.
- Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of various research designs.
- Describe the relative advantages and disadvantages of retrospective
and prospective studies.
- Identify and evaluate various methods of controlling extraneous
- Describe various threats to the internal and external validity of
- Research for Varying Nursing Problems
- Describe the purpose of survey research and types of data collection
approaches it uses.
- Describe the purposes and method of field studies.
- Describe the function and methods of case studies.
- Describe the purpose of historical research and its general
- Describe the purpose of methodological research.
- Sampling Designs
- Describe the rationale for sampling in research studies.
- Distinguish between non-probability and probability samples.
- Identify several types of non-probability samples and describe their
- Identify several types of probability samples and describe their
- Describe the characteristics of a good sample based on sample size
and sample selection.
UNIT V: Measurement and data collection
- Methods of Data Collection
- Identify types of information suitable for self-report instruments.
- Compare the advantages and disadvantages of interviews to
- Describe the major characteristics of Likert and semantic differential
- Identify several types of response set biases.
- Identify several types of phenomena that lend themselves to observation.
- Describe the advantages and disadvantages of observational methods.
- Distinguish in vitro and in vivo measurements.
- Describe the major features, advantages, and disadvantages of
- Principles of Measurement
- Describe the characteristics of each of the four levels of measurement
(nominal, ordinal, interval, and ration).
- Compare the four levels of measurement.
- Identify several sources of measurement error.
- Identify three different aspects of reliability and specify how each
aspect can be assessed.
- Describe three different aspects of validity and specify how each aspect
can be assessed.
- Describe four different aspects of triangulation.
UNIT VI: Analysis of the research process
- Quantitative Analysis
- Distinguish descriptive and inferential statistics.
- Describe the characteristics of frequency distributions.
- Describe the concepts of central tendency and variability.
- Compare three measures of central tendency.
- Compare two measure of variability.
- Distinguish positive and negative correlation.
- Describe hypothesis-testing procedures.
- Distinguish a Type I and Type II error.
- Identify the levels of measurement associated with various parametric
and non-parametric tests.
- Describe the use of computers in analyzing data.
- Qualitative Analysis
- Identify areas of nursing research where qualitative approaches are
likely to be especially fruitful.
- Identify five types of applications of qualitative analysis.
- Describe the grounded theory approach and analytic induction.
- Describe the basic principles of content analysis.
UNIT VII: Critique and utilization of nursing research
- Critiquing Research Reports
- Describe the purpose and features of a research critique.
- Identify the main dimensions along which a reviewer should critique a
- Evaluate a research report according to specified guidelines.
- Utilization of Nursing Research
- Give examples of how research can be used in nursing.
- Discuss the current status of research utilization among nurses.
- Identify barriers to utilizing nursing research.
- Participate in a group project that examines how nursing research can be
applied to the practice setting.
UNIT VIII: Technology/computers in nursing
Demonstrate basic computer literacy through the completion of assignments
Explore the field of nursing informatics.
Lecture, discussion, critique of current research articles, group project,
and class presentation
Polit, D.F., & Hungler, B.P. (1997). Essentials of nursing
research. (5th ed.). Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co.
Nursing Journals and selected nursing research articles.
Evaluation and Course Assignments:
Course assignments are designed to meet the critical analysis flagged course
(Weekly review of research articles) CAF a & b
Research Synthesis Project (Group
project with students synthesizing nursing research on a selected nursing
topic and presenting a research proposal) CAF b & c
Research Critique (Written
paper analyzing a nursing research article) CAF a, b & c