Use of research in undergraduate nursing students' theses: A mixed methods study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNurse Education Today. 2017, 56 23-28. 10.1016/j.nedt.2017.06.001
Background: Health care personnel are expected to be familiar with evidence-based practice (EBP). Asking clinical questions, conducting systematic literature searches and conducting critical appraisal of research findings have been some of the barriers to EBP. To improve undergraduate nurses' research skills, a collaborative library-faculty teaching intervention was established in 2012. Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate how the collaborative library-faculty teaching intervention affected the nursing students' research skills when writing their final theses. Design and Setting: Both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis were used. The study focused on a final year undergraduate nurse training programme in Norway. Participants: 194 theses submitted between 2013 and 2015 were collected and assessed. The students were exposed to the intervention for respectively one, two and three years during this period. Methods: Descriptive statistics were used to compare each year's output over the three-year period and to examine the frequency of the use of various databases, types of information and EBP-tools. Qualitative data was used to capture the students' reasoning behind their selection processes in their research. Results: The research skills with regard to EBP have clearly improved over the three years. There was an increase in employing most EBP-tools and the justifications were connected to important EBP principles. The grades in the upper half of the grading scale increased from 66.7 to 82.1% over the period 2013 to 2015, and a correlation was found between grades and critical appraisal skills. Conclusions: The collaborative library-faculty teaching intervention employed has been successful in the promotion of nursing student research skills as far as the EBP principles are concerned. Writing a thesis in the undergraduate nursing programme is important to develop and practice these research skills.