The Research Paper

Registered Nurses practice in a professional environment that is constantly changing.  It is essential that RNs have good written and verbal communication skills. As a RN you should be able to find current and pertinent information and apply the information to your care of patients. Good writing skills and the ability to locate relevant, current nursing information are needed to accomplish various goals and tasks such as documentation requirements, developing client education materials, developing nursing policies and procedures, all of which the RN may be asked to participate in as a member of the health care team.

A.  Topic: Recommendation #5: Double the number of nurses with a doctorate by 2020.

The research paper topic must focus on an issue that has relevance to the profession of nursing.  The paper should focus on the topic from a nursing perspective. The student should ask the questions: how does this issue relate to nursing and why is it important to the profession of nursing?   (This is not a paper on clinical nursing!)   It is recommended that students choose an area of inquiry that they are personally interested in.  The following is a list of pertinent research paper categories with possible topics.  The list of possible topics is not all inclusive.  Students are encouraged to discuss topic ideas with the instructor.

1.  Current Trends in the Health Care Industry and/or Nursing Administration that affect nursing practice

This may include leadership issues, the impact of managed care on nursing, quality improvement in the health care industry, or the impact of JCAHO regulations and quality improvement on the staff nurse.

2. Current Modes for Delivery of Nursing Care

This may include differentiated practice or models of nursing care delivery including staffing

issues.

3. Current Legal and/or Political Aspectsof Clinical Nursing or Nursing Education

This may include government affairs, legal issues, political aspects related to nursing practice.

4. Current Trends in the Practice of Nursingand Nursing Employment

This may include technologic advances affecting nursing, utilization of nursing research in practice, advanced practice nurses, professional development or professional issues, the nursing shortage.

B.  Data Collection / Review of the Literature:

Review of the Literature:

To collect data, research must be done using current professional journalsor books in the nursing or health care fields. Internet sources may also be used if the source is professional and reputable.  A minimum of 8 sources must be cited, at least 5 must benursing journalarticles (well respected, peer reviewed) related to the topic; this does not include Internet sources or articles assigned as part of the course reading requirements (although you certainly may use these references. Adequate research for this paper requires at least some library time.  When using the Internet, beware of citing web pages, which are not articles!

 

C.  Format for Research Paper:

 

The research paper must follow APA Format.

 

The paper must be clearly and professionally written with properly structured sentences and paragraphs.

(Hint:  a paragraph contains a minimum of 3 sentences)

     

•     correct use of grammar

•     neatly typed or word-processed with no typographical or spelling errors

•     double-spaced using a 12-point font size

•     no justification setting on the word processor

  • Number the pagesof your paper.

•     indent paragraphs 5-7 spaces

•     margins 1 inch from top, bottom and sides

 

·      Words should be spelled correctly.  There is no substitute for proof reading and proof reading again.  Spell check is a wonderful invention, but remember it will not pick up every error! Have someone else read your paper (familiarity breeds contempt and an amazing inability to see our own errors!) Another effective trick is to read your paper out loud or have someone else read it aloud to you.

The paper must have:

•     cover page (title page) which includes your name, course, date, paper title

•     table of contents listing topic headings and page numbers

•     clear organization using topic headings

•     an introduction and conclusions/summary

•     6 pages minimum – 8 pages maximum content (this means the body of the paper must be at least 6pages not counting Title page, Reference page, etc.)

 

•     Reference Page (written using APA Styleformat)

• correctly written and formatted citations of referenced materials using APA format

• allreferences listed must be cited in the body of the paper; all cited references must be listed on the reference page

Do not use excessive direct quotes from your references. The research paper is to be written primarily in your own words as you paraphrase and sum up what you have learned from your research.

Cite references to back up those statements and support your conclusions. Cite your references OFTEN.  A page of written material with NO reference is not OK!   A general guide is to have a reference cited for each paragraph or so.

You are reporting and summarizing FACTS, not your opinions.  Avoidfalling into the trap of writing a \”how to manual\”.  Clues that you may be doing this are sentences that say \”The nurse should always…, You should…..\”  \”Always check the medication label….\”, etc.

 

Plagiarism  will not be tolerated and will result in a failing grade on the research paper. 

 

         Research Paper Grading Form, IOM Report/Calif Coalition

                                                                      

LITERATURE REVIEW/RESEARCH              POSSIBLE POINTS

Quality of Research                                                         5                                              ________

Relevant to topic; credible sources

Correlates to professional nursing practice

Breadth of Research                                                         5                                              ________

Uses a variety of sources

Uses professional, well respected journals

Amount of Research                                                        5                                              ________

Uses a number of sources (minimum of 8 of which

5 must be professional nursing journals)

CONTENT

Topic

Pertinent, relates to nursing practice, current             2                                              ________

Organization                                                                   20                                             ________

Well organized; introduction, well-developed body

of paper, Identifies significance to nursing practice

Uses sub-headings to clarify sections

Summary includes implications for nursing practice

& discussion of major points

Clearly Written                                                               5                                              ________

Appropriate language usage, understandable,

Logical flow, clear, easy to follow

Impact on Health Care in the Unites States                           5

Discusses potential and actual impact on Pt care and

future health of the nation.

Nursing

Discusses the impact that these changes will have      13

on the nurse’s role (s)

 

Citing of References                                                         5                                              ________

References are cited in body of paper using

APA format; credits authors properly

 

FORMAT

Contains all essential components:                         5                                             ________

Cover page, table of contents, reference

page; double-spaced, word processed, 1 inch margins all sides

APA Style & Format is used consistently

 

Body of paper is 6 pages minimum,                          5                                             ________

8 pages maximum

Handed in on time

 

Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, Paragraphing         10                                             ________

No typographical, spelling, or

Grammatical errors; paragraphs cohesive with logical transitions

Sentences are complete & clear

REFERENCE PAGE

Correctly written Using APA format                                   5                                              ________

All references cited in the body of the paper are

Listed on Reference page

 

TOTAL POINTS                                                           90                                             _______

 

GRADE SHEET – include with paper

(Omission will result in minus two points)                                                             _______

 

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