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Intro to Nursing Resources

A guide to conducting Nursing research in the AU Libraries

Research Study Design

Nursing Research, Step By Step, from: American Journal of Nursing. Updated 9/22/2022

This series, coordinated by the Heilbrunn Family Center for Research Nursing at Rockefeller University, is designed to give nurses the knowledge and skills they need to participate in research, step by step. Each column will present the concepts that underpin evidence-based practice—from research design to data interpretation. 


1. Capili, B. (2020). How does research start? The American Journal of Nursing, 120(10), 41–44. 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000718644.96765.b3This article focuses on how to start the research process by identifying a topic of interest and developing a well-defined research question. Associated podcast

2. Capili, B. (2021). Selection of the study participants. The American Journal of Nursing, 121(1), 64–67. 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000731688.58731.05This article is an introduction to designing study eligibility criteria and recruiting study participants. Associated podcast

3. Curtis, & Keeler, C. (2021). Sampling design in nursing research. The American Journal of Nursing121(3), 53–57. This column continues with a discussion of sampling design and includes a consideration of probability and nonprobability sampling methodologies. Associated podcast

4. Curtis, A. C., & Keeler, C. (2021). Measurement in nursing research. The American Journal of Nursing, 121(6), 56–60. 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000753668.78872.0f In this article, we explore measurement in quantitative research. We will also consider the concepts of validity and reliability as they relate to quantitative research measurement. Associated podcast

5. Capili, B. (2021). Selection and implementation of outcome measurements. The American Journal of Nursing, 121(8), 63–67. 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000767840.30291.31 This column continues the discussion of outcome measures, focusing on questionnaire formats and guidelines for selecting and administering these measures in clinical research. Associated podcast

6. Capili, B. (2021). Cross-sectional studies. The American Journal of Nursing, 121(10), 59–62. 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000794280.73744.fe This article describes one type of observational study, the cross-sectional study, examining its strengths and weaknesses and discussing methods for reporting the study results. Associated podcast

7. Capili, B., & Anastasi, J. K. (2021). Cohort Studies. The American Journal of Nursing121(12), 45–48. This article describes prospective (following a group from the present into the future) and retrospective (studying a group from the past through to the present) cohort designs, examines their strengths and weaknesses, and discusses methods for reporting the study results. Associated podcast

8. Keeler, & Curtis, A. C. (2022). Case-control studies. The American Journal of Nursing122(2), 51–56. Like cohort studies, case–control studies connect a health outcome with a specific exposure, allowing researchers to compare the association between the two. Here, we compare cohort and case–control studies, discuss the selection of cases and controls, describe how one might evaluate whether an association exists between them, and outline potential sources of bias. We end by discussing when a case–control study might be appropriate. Associated podcast

9.Keeler, & Curtis, A. C. (2022). Secondary data in nursing research. The American Journal of Nursing122(4), 58–61. This article discusses the alignment of research goals with secondary data sources, explores sources of publicly available secondary data that might be of interest to nurse researchers, and outlines the costs and benefits of using secondary data. Associated podcast

10. Curtis, & Keeler, C. (2022). Diagnostic studies: measures of accuracy in nursing research. The American Journal of Nursing, 122(6), 44–49. This article reviews the use of diagnostic and screening tests and tools in nursing research and clinical practice.Associated podcast

11. Curtis, A. C. (2022). An Introduction to qualitative methods for the nurse researcher. The American Journal of Nursing122(8), 52–56. This article provides an introduction to qualitative methods in nursing research. Associated podcast

12. Curtis, A. & Keeler, C. (2022). Interpretive methodologies in qualitative nursing research. The American Journal of Nursing, 122 (10), 45-49. doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000890224.65902.0a. This article, one in a series on clinical research by nurses, explores the rich tradition of interpretive qualitative research practices, including phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, and case study