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Succeeding in literature reviews and research project plans for nursing students (2nd edition)

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Title: Succeeding in literature reviews and research project plans for nursing students (2nd edition)

Authors: Graham R Williamson and Andrew Whittaker

Publisher: Sage Publishing

Reviewer: Ed Shields, nurse lecturer, Queen’s University Belfast

What was it like?

This 2nd edition is part of the Transforming Nursing Practice series and therefore addresses NMC Standards and Essential Skills Clusters, which makes it useful to students in preparing for their responsibilities as registrants. It is arranged in four sections; getting started, planning and preparing for your final-year project, using and critiquing research for your final year project and, finally, writing and finishing. Topics such as devising a question, how to search/locate literature and reviewing literature are included. The considerations necessary in developing a proposal/dissertation are introduced, along with simple introductions to research terms. Readers are introduced to important issues in critique of studies employing interviews and focus groups, as well as analysis of qualitative data. The authors move to consider critique of surveys and experimental designs (along with the introduction of some further research terms relating to reliability and validity). A useful chapter dealing with quantitative data and some simple information on basic statistics follows: this section also contains some helpful diagrams illustrating some ways in which data can be presented. The book finishes with helpful writing advice, which in my experience, nobody is too experienced to benefit from. 

What were the highlights? 

I think the way in which this book, in keeping with others in this series, maps directly to NMC Essential Skills Clusters and Competency Framework makes it a clear and direct benefit to under-graduate pre-registration nursing students. I commend the extensive and useful reading suggested at the end of each chapter and I find many of the web sites particularly helpful.

Strengths & weaknesses:

  • Chapter aims map to chapter summary
  • Useful suggestions for relevant further reading and useful web sites
  • Case studies and activities which are accompanied by suggested outline answers at the end of the chapter

Who should read it?

As someone who teaches undergraduate, pre-registration students on a third year Evidence Based Practice module, which requires the completion of a 5000 word literature review, I can certainly recommend this book to nursing students who have to complete any similar project. Anyone (nurse or otherwise), who has to complete any research based modules on a post-graduate programme will derive benefit from this book; some Master’s students may also find it a useful way into this area of study. Any healthcare students from other disciplines will find use in the book also. Finally, any lecturers involved in this area of education should have a look at this 2nd edition too.

Succeeding in literature reviews and research project plans

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