Elective applied research course: A motivational approach to enhance learning

Maha Othman, Wilma M. Hopman, Valerie Sawyer, Calvin Kerr


Nursing programs and educators have long recognized the need to prepare students for evidence based nursing practice, and for being well-informed about nursing research. Literature indicates course-based undergraduate research experiences are linked to pursuing graduate degrees, and/or continuing with research pursuits. There is limited published evidence on how nursing research should be taught. The objective of this study is to evaluate a novel course-based model -developed at our institution for integration of practical research in undergraduate years. This model was designed to help students appreciate the steps, and efforts involved in generating and completing research studies they are often required to critically analyze. We describe the model and report the results of a study designed to evaluate the elective course outcomes based on a 4-year experience. The study is composed of: a retrospective comparative analysis of final grades in relation to core research courses, a structured online survey to capture students’ perspectives and experiences and thematic analysis of course feedback. Results showed while there was no significant difference in the final courses’ grades of the two mandatory research courses between students who took the elective and those who did not, there were significant differences between the years and a trend towards a significant effect of the research course in one of the years. Survey data and thematic analysis document the course benefits and show 100% of students recommend the course. Examining education models such as this can support the evolving needs of nursing students and enhance the quality of nursing graduates.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v6n4p9

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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