Some suggestions for nursing research topics

When you need to write a dissertation for your nursing qualification, you might be overwhelmed by the choices you have. There are so many nursing research topics to choose to do your research from. However, after your years of nursing experience as a trainee, you should have come to some conclusions about what you would like to do in the future.

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Here is a list of the general nursing research topics and areas

  • Paediatric care in hospitals
  • Care of geriatrics
  • Caring for patients in an Accident and Emergency ward
  • Terminally ill patients and the care they need
  • Midwifery and the care of new mothers
  • Caring for HIV and AIDS patients
  • Caring for cancer patients, adults and children
  • Caring for elderly patients with dementia
  • Caring for patients with Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Caring for patients with Parkinson’s Disease
  • Responding appropriately to carers and relatives of the terminally ill

You should have realised in which field you feel most comfortable working. That field should be the focus of your dissertation.

Your research could be library-based, reviewing the literature of your chosen topic, or it could be a practical study based on your own experience and research. You will need to speak with your mentor or tutor and choose one of the many nursing research topics. You will obviously have to come to an agreement regarding your topic.

Within each of these areas there are many possibilities for a specific topic for your dissertation. For example, you could write a dissertation focussing on whether or not student nurses should have more positive attitudes towards their elderly patients, and whether or not they are ageist. That could be an area for quantitative research combines with qualitative data as mixed methods research is looked upon favourably now.

Think carefully about what methodology you will use for your study and which theory will underpin it. Writing a dissertation is often difficult, especially when it come to the methodology section.

It is important that you structure your dissertation in the following format, although some deviation is allowable.

  • The title page which gives the full title of your work plus any subtitles. Your name should appear on it as well as the qualification which the dissertation is submitted for. If you already have qualifications, these should follow your name. Also, the title page should include the name of your university or college. You will also need to include the date of your submission.
  • Next, on a separate page you must write your abstract which is a summary of your research. Usually an abstract is between 300 and 500 words in length.
  • You may need to include acknowledgements, thanking the people who helped you with your research.
  • Then comes your contents page with the titles of all your chapters, appendices and so on.
  • The main body of your dissertation comes next complete with its own sections and subsections, e.g. Introduction, Context, Methodology, Results, Discussion and Recommendations for further research.
  • The bibliography must also be included, and it is necessary to adopt the style required by your tutor. This might be Harvard style, APA style or another style such as the Oxford style.

If you have experience of working as a nurse, or trainee nurse in another country, you could write a comparative study about nursing practices in the different countries. Or you could rely on your experience and write about how stress levels affect nurses and their efficiency. This could be a qualitative study using data gathered via interview with colleagues. If the data were to be enhanced by the use of questionnaires, you would have a sound basis for a mixed methods research study. You could pose questions such as

  • Do you think that a nurse’s stress levels decrease over the years?
  • Do you think that nurses eventually become immune to their patients’ suffering?
  • How effective do you think telephone conversations with nurses are in primary care situations?
  • How far do meditation techniques improve a patient’s stress-management ability?
  • If a nurse engages with a terminally ill patient, can work on life stories help the patient? Is it worth engaging in such stories?
  • Should there be nurses who specialise in helping patients with dementia? What special training would they require to be effective?
  • Are patients who live in rural areas less receptive to advice given by nurses than advice given by doctors? Is the same true of patients in urban areas?
  • Can family therapy help teenagers with eating disorders?
  • Do poor living conditions exacerbate mental health issues which already exist?
  • To what extent is there tension between patients, doctors and nurses regarding care and treatment? This would be a qualitative study carried out in the hospital the nurse worked in.

You can pick an area to research and show how nursing practice has changed in the last 10, 20, 30 or 50 years, for example.

If you are doing original research, you might want to choose the case study approach to your topic. However, if you do this, you will need to have participants sign consent forms. You can either download these or design your own consent form. Participants must sign these to indicate that understand that they are taking part in a research study and have given their consent to be a participant. It would be unethical not to inform participants that their data will be used in such a study, and your work could be disqualified. That would mean that you fail your course of study.

Patients have to give their informed consent. That means that they have to be made aware of precisely what the research study entails.

If you are considering researching with children, they also have to give their consent, and so do their parents. You can use a form which combines the child’s and parent’s consent. However, you must explain the research tasks which will focus on the child and the parent, if applicable.

It is desirable to have the child consent to participating in the study, even though in some cases, this will be verbal assent. A recorded interview with the child can help ensure that the researcher asked for and received permission to gather data from the child.

If you think that you will need follow-up interviews, you should include a check box on the form.

When you explain what the research involves to the child, your explanation should be very clear and easily understood by the child. Children from the age of seven, whose cognitive development is normal should be asked to consent to being involved I the study If your research study involves children of different ages and stages of development, you will have to tailor explanations accordingly. Of course, if the children are very young, then assent would not be meaningful, and this can be waived. However, in such cases, parental consent or the consent of a child’s guardian must be obtained, and the consent form signed.

A consent form for an adolescent can be vey similar to that signed by an adult as long as his or her cognitive abilities are not impaired. If the forms to be signed by the adolescent and the parent/guardian are the same, then both can sign the same consent form.

If the child reaches the age of majority while the study is in progress, the researcher should ask the adult to sign a new consent form.

If you need any help to write up a case study, then you would need to inform participants that their data will be seen by another person. We can write your case study for you, but you would need a signed consent form allowing us to do that. Of course, we offer a completely confidential service, but we believe in being completely ethical. You would have to explain to the participants why you need us to write up your study for you. For example, if you are not a native English speaker you may need proficient English skills which you may lack. You could also ask us to suggest further research topics or tell us which topic you have chosen to write about. Our professional writers can proofread and edit your work or write your research topic for you.

Contact us now to find out more about our writing services.

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