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January 2011, Volume 41 Number 1 , p 9 - 11


  • Cheryl Dumont PhD, RN, CRNI
  • Kathryn Tagnesi MS, BSN, RN, NEA-BC


WELCOME TO Research Corner, a new department in Nursing2011. Its purpose is to give nurses practical skills and knowledge and to bring research to the bedside in a meaningful way. Evidence-based practice (EBP) is an umbrella concept, with research probably being the most feared and least understood part. Through the articles presented in this department, you'll begin to see that real-life issues you deal with every day can be the subject of a research study-and that much of research and EBP is logical. We've included a Glossary of research terms to aid your understanding.A formula or step-by-step approach to research can help you successfully navigate through a study whether you're conducting your own or reading someone else's. (See Steps to research.) This installment of Research Corner will discuss these steps, using the issue of color-based dress codes for nurses as an example.The first step in any research study is to identify a problem. At our medical center, we discussed the professional image of our nurses, including whether patients could readily identify them. We wondered whether we should establish a specific color-based dress code to make nurses more easily identifiable to patients. Because we'd recently embarked on shared governance and the Magnet(R) journey, it was only fitting that we bring the issue to our nursing practice council to be investigated.When you're writing research questions, you'll need to review the literature to find out what research has already been done on the topic. If other researchers have completed well-designed studies and you determine their sample is representative of your patient population, you can implement their findings. If you identify gaps in the research, you can design your own study to fill those gaps.We reviewed the literature using the EBSCO search engines to comb through CINAHL, Medline, and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences databases. To ensure that we reviewed studies relevant to current society, we limited the

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