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Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN)

This guide contains helpful information for those students enrolled in the RN-BSN Program at Goodwin University
In nursing, it is very important to use journal articles to find current research on your topic. While books are excellent for background and reference information, they are not published as frequently as articles. When searching for articles on a current topic, your date range should fall between three to five years, as data and statistics can become dated very quickly. Journal articles can be found by using the library databases that are appropriate for your nursing topic.

Useful Nursing and Research Terms

Assessment: process of collecting information about a client to help plan care.

Baseline data: initial information obtained about a client that establishes the norms for comparison as the client's condition changes.

Care:  watching over, providing for, and looking after a person or thing, performed by a responsible individual or group.

Code of ethics: written values of a profession that act as guidelines for professional behavior.

Conceptual framework: concept, theory, or basic idea around which an educational program is organized and developed.

Critical thinking: the intellectual process of rationally examining ideas, inferences, assumptions, principles, arguments, conclusions, issues, statements, beliefs, and actions for which all the relevant information may not be available. This process involves the ability to use the five types of reasoning (scientific, deductive, inductive, informal, practical) in application of the nursing process, decision making, and resolution of ambiguous issues.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): refers to a unique alphanumeric string assigned to a journal article, book, book chapter, or reference entry. The DOI number is used to help track and identify individual documents. It is similar to the function of IBSN for a book.

Evidence-based practice: refers to nursing practice that utilizes research findings as the foundation for nurses' decisions, activities, and interactions with clients.

Health policy: a principle, plan, or course of action related to health care adopted by a government, organization, or individual. In a pluralistic society such as the United States, both public and private sectors play major and often inter-related roles in decision making about health care. Public policy focuses on decision making in the public sector, and all three branches of government--legislative, executive, and judicial. In the private sector, professional associations, insurance companies, corporations, consumer organizations, and other interested parties set policy related to their membership and spheres of interest as well as influencing public policy through lobbying, serving as advisors, and other activities.

Nursing informatics: a branch of informatics concerned with all aspects of the nursing profession's use of computer technology. It is a specialty that expands computer systems to include nursing information.

Nursing research: formal study of problems of nursing practice, the role of the nurse in health care, and the value of nursing.

Nursing theoretical models: a conceptual representation of nursing phenomena. It consists of concepts that are defined and related in ways that are relevant and representative of the discipline of nursing. Theoretical models present basic assumptions, boundaries, content, and context associated with the substantive focuses of the discipline. Nursing theoretical models provide framework, unique to nursing, for understanding the nature of human beings, their health, and their environments and for understanding the methods by which nursing is studied and practiced.

Peer reviewed: evaluation against professional standards of the performance of individuals with the same basic education and qualifications; formal process of review or evaluation by colleagues of an equal rank.

Population: all persons who have some characteristics in common, such as residence in the same geographic area or being served by the same health care  institution agency.

Qualitative research:  includes all modes of inquiry that do no rely on numbers or statistical methods. This approach is grounded more in theory, ethnography, and case study methods.

Quantitative research: consists of the collection, tabulation, summarization, and analysis of numerical data for the purpose of answering research questions or hypotheses. Quantitative research uses statistical methodology at every stage of the research process.

Theory: set of inter-related constructs (concepts, definitions, or propositions) that presents a systematic view of phenomena by specifying relations among variable with the purpose of explaining and predicting phenomena.

Vulnerable populations: those social groups who are at increased risk for adverse health-related outcomes. Groups commonly considered vulnerable to increased risk of poor health include women and children, the elderly, ethnic people of color, immigrants and refugees, gay men and lesbians, homeless persons, disabled persons, and chemically dependent persons.