The Importance of a Quality Literature Review

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Why is it important to conduct a quality literature review? What are the essential components of a quality literature review? What are some struggles and difficulties in creating a good literature review?

The literature review is an instrument that researchers use to contextualize their research studies and contextualize them in the collective knowledge that exists in the field regarding the topic of analysis. A quality literature review is important because it not only provides an argument for the necessity of a researcher's study but also demonstrates the new contributions that the researcher expects to introduce to the knowledge base. One of the essential components of a quality literature review is a synthesis of the literature, with the identification of gaps in the literature validating the researcher's study further. The main challenge that researchers face is the selection of materials to include in their literature reviews due to the existence of expansive knowledge bases. Another difficulty encountered is in the development of an effective critical perspective of the literature, with some researchers also struggling with the formulation of an effective organizational structure.

Question #2

How do theory and research influence each other? How do theory and research affect practice in nursing? Using your experience as a nurse, provide an example of how a theory or research affected patient care.

Theory and research have an inexorable link, in that theory helps to guide research while research is essential in the development, affirmation, or refutation of theoretical frameworks. The influence of theory and research in nursing practice is evident in the way that they guide the nursing profession and influence change in practice at the professional level. Moreover, they help to define the future of nursing by analyzing its coverage of identified challenges as well as the concerns arising in the multidisciplinary healthcare ecosystem. One visible example of this interaction is in the inclusion of nurses in the development of an effective patient handover process. The theory held that nurses could reduce errors in the handover process and with the use of research to validate the theory, nursing practice in the field adopted nurse handover as an integral part of the electronic patient handover process.

Question #3

How does the registered nurse use guided research in the clinical setting?

The registered nurse is elemental in guiding evidence-based practice that depends on validated and well-researched hypotheses on the phenomena that they encounter in their normative practice. Hands-on experience is highly informative in the development, validation, and refutation of the theories that guide research and subsequent practice. The overall aim of guided research in the clinical setting is an improvement in the standard of care as well as the application of these standards to improve patient outcomes. The fact that nurses are highly knowledgeable participants in the healthcare sector also benefits their contributions to research in the clinical setting, whereby they now form a critical part of interdisciplinary teams. Therefore, the registered nurse has a vital tool in guided research and its ability to include the perspectives of multiple stakeholders in the improvement of patient care in practice.

Question #4

Explore your clinical site and relate one quality improvement (QI) study currently being analyzed. What is benchmarked in the study? What role does the nurse play in the QI study?

One quality improvement (QI) study currently in place in my clinical site is an analysis of the complications that arise after catheter removal for non-ambulatory patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). The benchmark for this analysis is the rate of occurrence of these complications with the implementation of standardized catheter removal and site treatment practices. In this QI study, the nurses are a critical element since they handle the task of inserting and removing catheters as well as site treatment and monitoring. As a result, the nurse bears the responsibility of applying existing practice standards to ensure compliance. Moreover, the nurses also have to examine, measure, and record the results of changes in practice, ensuring compliance to set standards as well as monitoring the effectiveness of these changes in reducing infection rate and ensuring better outcomes for non-ambulatory patients in the ICU.



DiCenso, A., Guyatt, G., & Ciliska, D. (2014). Evidence-Based Nursing-E-Book: A Guide to Clinical Practice. Elsevier Health Sciences.

October 13, 2023
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Research Nurse

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