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Nursing Research in Action: Exploring, Understanding and Developing Skills. 3rd Edition

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Title: Nursing Research in Action: Exploring, Understanding and Developing Skills. 3rd Edition.

Authors: Burnard P., Morrison P., Gluyas H

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Reviewer:  Amy Hallport, staff nurse, Accident and Emergency Department, Royal Lancaster Infirmary

What was it like?

Written by senior nursing lecturers, this third edition of Nursing Research in Action aims to aid novice, aspiring researchers through the sometimes terrifying prospect of preparing, undertaking and displaying their own studies.

This handy-sized concise book encompasses 10 chapters using a step by step approach, which covers topics such as searching current literature and choosing data collection methods. Within each chapter, subtitles separate the main points and tasks that introduce the reader to specific exercises that can be undertaken individually or in a group. This edition also offers a vast amount of further reading material that includes journal articles and books in an attempt to widen the reader’s understanding of some topics that are covered briefly by the author.


What were the highlights?

The book excels in suggesting from whom and where you should locate relevant information needed to undertake a research project. It covers contacting the British Library to access difficult to obtain literature, to explaining and gaining ethical approval.

Strengths and weaknesses?

It is easy to read and understand due to the explanations used by the authors that describe some difficult key concepts. To my mind, it’s a work of art in the way it explains so much so clearly. Collectively, it could be defined as a research diary, reminding the reader to undertake tasks, advising on note keeping, academic support and financial funding. The research process is addressed in a systematic and manageable manner, easing the reader into its methods successfully.

The index would benefit from a glossary of terms, which would assist the reader quickly when accessing published research and using statistical programs to interpret their own results for display. Principally the authors do their job in easing the amateur researcher into the world of conducting experiments and investigations, while discussing the structure and process involved in doing so correctly.

Although the authors do touch upon the concepts of validly, reliability and credibility more in-depth discussion is required to reiterate the importance this poses on research in the 21st century.

Who should read it?

If you’re a novice to research, its methods and process, or revisiting research to consolidate learning with a view to conducting your own study, on whatever scale, then this is an excellent reference guide that can be used by students, nurses and specialist clinicians. As research is used in all sectors of nursing practice, this book doesn’t fixate on any individual area, making it relevant to all fields and disciplines. It will inevitably aid all nurses to understand research that may have been previously viewed as unreadable, unobtainable or difficult to understand.

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