Research Methods for Nursing Papers: 3 Tiers of Investigation

Researching in nursing papers is a cumbersome job that becomes too much for students to handle. Similarly, medical science research methods are complex and tedious as well and learners find themselves in double jeopardy. There are many types of methodologies that help the researchers in finding clues and answers to their investigations.

Furthermore, the ethical dilemma also hurts chances of good research and students fail in coming up with a reasonable solution. Today, we will uncover the 3 levels of research methods for nursing papers that will allow you to explore your field closely. Additionally, we will be focusing on removing biases when using appropriate research protocols in medical sciences. Read till the end and get to the bottom of truth.

What Methods Should We Use For Researching in Nursing Papers?

For a robust and thorough three tier research that’s the pillar of medical research students can go through our guide for nursing paper writing that will explain everything appropriately. Here we will mention important steps that must be taken by nursing students to produce outstanding papers based on credible research.

These well documented and universally applicable research methods for nursing papers will help you in many ways. The first role they will play is that they make your assignment authentic for readers and win their trust. This helps them in understanding your work and its worth in the real world practices and importance in patient care guidelines. Let’s start learning!

Primary Research Method

In the world of medical science, the primary research method is known as the “Holy Grail” of all methodologies. It provides absolute results and devoid them of personal and unconscious bias(es) if properly investigated. Let us explain its contextual meaning here.

What is it Really?

Primary mode of research deals with results or evidence that are collected directly from the source. It involves many things such as one-on-one interviews, self conducting surveys, observations and initiatives for doing analysis. Hence, it’s a lengthy process and medical learners try to avoid it by all means because of excessive time consumption.

Students may also have to go through a series of steps before they’ll be allowed or considered qualified in taking this step. This research requires students to gather data that was not gathered before, or partially collected and shared with a limited community or people.

Steps to Consider Before Getting Started

For good primary research you must consider a few pointers that will guide you in the right direction. It’s essential to know these steps so when you start your research, you head into the right direction. Primary method totally depends on your efforts to gain access to new and unknown information, you must follow guidelines mentioned below for better perspective on the modalities.

Careful for Ethical Boundaries

The first thing you must consider before plunging for the research is to maintain ethical boundaries between you and the subject of the investigation. For example you must take written consent from your test subjects if you are doing an observational study. It’s not ethical if they are blind to your test and their data is shared without consent.

Secondly, you may ask them if they feel comfortable mentioning their name, address or occupation to better show demographic and professional interests. Thirdly, ask your medical college what are the rules and regulations on data collection and test subjects, so you can follow them accordingly.

Be specific in Your Aims of Research

This step deals with how you may target and acquire your research. It’s evident that results change with time you might overdo to fill the gaps which is not a good practice. Be precise in data gathering but also use pre-existing information to make your results more solid. The opinion of the people or technology used in any specific method might become obsolete with time. Hence, you must synthesize results that are less prone to be outdated with time and change of heart.

Avoid Bias(es)

Biases are one thing that will make your research hollow and useless once it’s detected. Learners must remember to acknowledge the bias and unconscious bias they might be exposed to already. Bias is a deliberate act of prejudice or inclination of certain emotions towards a community, an idea, belief, religion or race.

On the contrary, unconscious bias already exists in the mind of a researcher that they might not know of yet. It can include anything ranging from sexual tendies, stereotype behavior, misogyny or patriarchal beliefs from childhood. Therefore, it’s important to find out your biases, eliminate or sideline them during this investigation process.

Mention Areas/Topics/Subjects not Covered in the Research

The last step before you set sail is to mention all those areas that you’ve missed intentionally or unintentionally. It’s only human when we are unable to add not much detail because of many factors. A student might be having short or very limited time, their subjects might not be available for extended periods or research topic must be about one specific phenomena. 

In the above mentioned situation, it’s natural to make your research limited to a certain targeted population or ideas. Thus, you must add the areas of research you’re unable to cover under the specific circumstances, requirements from your university or society.

Ways To Do Primary Research in Nursing Discipline

Let’s talk about the ways of doing an investigation based on the primary method. All of these methodologies have their advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the requirements, students may use any of the principal modes of data collection method suitable for their work. These ways can be choose by picking any one of the following examples:


Interviews are the best source of collecting research data first hand by meeting experts and professionals from a specific field. There are many ways to conduct interviews such as you can meet them in-person, via email, video call (What’sApp, Skype, etc), or over the phone. This way you can take or record their opinion and use that data to extract the results you’re looking for. 

Questionnaires and Surveys

When you’re dealing with a larger population and require a quick snapshot of what these people think, surveys are the best option. Interesting thing is that you can quickly spread the questionnaire about the topic and get its answers in a click. Everyday, we see hundreds of surveys or polls created on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. These polls can quickly provide results on a question asked from the audience. 

In the same way, for collecting primary data, students can create surveys such as “What is the first line treatment for influenza or indigestion, etc.” The results in qualitative or quantitative methods can be collected after the designated time frame. So, surveys are a best option for a larger population and used only for quick retrieval of results from specific samples. 


In observation, students can observe target samples such as people, places, events or a rising trend in the world and present their objective opinion on it. This is a lengthy process that requires thorough evaluation and then summing up to reach the conclusion. 

Data Analysis

An analysis is the best and most popular way of gathering primary research sources. Students are asked to collect data regarding two more variables and then compare them carefully without introducing a bias or partiality. Researchers have the freedom to choose any data set such as a pre-existed or newer one to present their analysis.

Secondary Research Method

In academics, the secondary research method is the one that’s based on already existing research. Students read the books, journals, or interviews published in medical or scientific books and then start their research on it. This research method provides a base to students and they don’t need to work from scratch. There are many benefits in acquiring this research for your medical assignments. Let’s discuss them one by one:

Advantages of Secondary Research

  • Cheaper and much more feasible to use in a quick result oriented institution
  • Data is available on many platform and its authenticity can be verified easily without sending lengthy emails for confirmation
  • Helps new students and provides them information they might’ve not heard of or unfamiliar with
  • Used primarily for building knowledge base for eliminating lengthy paper work and studies that’s not possible in short time 
  • Used for finding gaps in research so it helps nursing students to critically analyze the previous results and offer new solution on top of older ones
  • It helps students understand the requirements of the topic and which methods are more suitable for them in getting the desired results
  • Easily usable research data and using it requires less authorization or consent issues.

Disadvantages of Secondary Research

  • Less valuable and useful due to being older or outdated due to limitation of the technology that was available at the time of research
  • Can be hard to identify if the research is older than 30 years, authenticity decreases after every 15 years of time
  • Might have less scope to your relevant field due to ever changing dynamics between specialties and their sub-specialties
  • May or may not be able to answer your research question thus putting your work and research time at risk of being unnecessary or irrelevant
  • It can give you good understanding of a disease or treatment protocol but not a right or necessary direction

Tertiary Research Methods for Nursing Papers

Tertiary research method is the third step of investigation. These research methods are based on primary and secondary sources of research. They are also called hybrid research as well due to having both parts in them.

Tertiary research is a good start for students and they get all the information at one platform. Since it’s a combo of primary and secondary research, many students use them as it is in their papers. Secondly, tertiary sources provide big time saving because both of the researches can be found easily at one platform. This source of information is the student friendly option and most of the research work of learners is based on it.


Finding perfect research methods for nursing papers is not as difficult as it seems to be. Our experts tried to make this guide easy so it can be understood by nursing students of all backgrounds. By following the appropriate method, students can easily pick a research protocol that suits their work and enhance their analytical skills.

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