Next Step After Your Community College Nursing Program

by A Guest Author

Are you a registered nurse looking to further your career in some shape or form? Are you sincerely interested in medical research? If so, getting your RN BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) is a great way to achieve your goals. There are many different areas of research nurses are regularly involved in and there are many different RN to BSN programs to help you get there. Below is a sampling of the various types of research open to nurses with a BSN.

What is nursing research?

If you’ve ever wondered why nurses do things the way they do, it’s all because of nursing research. According to the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), nursing research develops knowledge to build the scientific foundation for clinical practice, prevent disease and disability, manage and eliminate symptoms caused by illness and enhance end-of-life and palliative care. In other words, nursing research allows nurses to give their patients the highest quality of care possible.

Areas of Nursing Research

  • Evidence-based nursing research. This is the formal name for what many nurses do every day – base their decisions and patient care on the best available research evidence, their own experience and on their patient’s needs. Evidence-based nursing is an extremely imperative part of nursing research, because it affects patient care and how nursing is practiced on a daily basis.
  • Diagnosis-specific research. Research done on a particular disease, condition or diagnosis is known as diagnosis-specific research. Not only does this type of research study the physical effects the disease has on the patient, it also studies how the condition affects the patient’s ability to carry out the activities of daily living.
    • Nurses participating in this type of research can also work with patients in clinical trials for new drugs and treatments. This is an ideal opportunity for nurses who enjoy learning about new protocols, devices and pharmaceuticals in addition to new treatments and drugs. Patient care and education is a large part of what nurses involved with diagnosis-specific research do.
    • Prevention and healthy lifestyle choices. This area of nursing research covers a wide variety of areas both in our daily lives and in the clinical setting. Going beyond basic healthy choices such as eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise, prevention in nursing research studies behaviors and risk factors for specific diseases. This research leads to the development of effective programs and interventions. Prevention research is also extremely helpful in hospitals in the areas of fall prevention, bedsore prevention and hospital-acquired illness prevention.
    • Standards of care. This is a close cousin of evidence-based nursing research. Research into standards of care focuses on one particular aspect of nursing at a time. For example, patient satisfaction surveys can reveal not only ways standards of care can be improved but can also show what practices are working well. Cross-cultural nursing research is another specific focus that helps nurses care for patients with diverse backgrounds. Staffing issues can also be addressed by research into timeliness of patient care, ensuring there are enough nurses to achieve a high standard of care.


There is a wealth of reputable RN to BSN programs both online and at traditional brick-and-mortar schools. Choosing the one that’s right for you depends on a number of factors starting with how much time and money you are able to devote to getting that degree. However, there is much more to choosing a program. When deciding on a school, consider these aspects of both traditional and online RN to MSN programs:

  • Look for an accredited program and be sure the program is focused on applied learning and evidence-based practice.
  • Consider your schedule in relation to the length of the course; be certain you’ll be able to commit the amount of time necessary to complete the program in the required amount of time. There are schools that will allow you to take as many or as few classes as your schedule will allow, but not all schools will do this.
  • An online RN to BSN program focuses more professional development while traditional BSN programs focus more on theory and historical perspectives.

Whatever route you take to attain a BSN, the experience gained in the online masters in nursing program research is sure to be rewarding.

This article was written by Justin Davis, who over 5 years ago decided to further his career by taking RN to MSN online courses.  He expects to finish his degree next year.

This post was written by A Guest Author

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