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NURS 378: Research in Nursing

This guide provides resources and search strategies to assist students in NURS 378: Research in Nursing.

What is Quantitative Research?

"In all of these [quantitative] designs, the researcher is looking to identify if there is any correlation (relationship) between variables (factors of interest). These variables should be clarified in the aim/purpose and then specified in the research question. [...] The respondents in quantitative research usually provide replies on surveys and questionnaires, which ask closed-ended questions (yes/no, and Likert Scale responses with choices like highly unlikely to highly likely) that allow the researcher to quantify the answers.  [...] Quantitative methods provide the ability for a researcher to get a broad breadth toward understanding a research problem by collecting data from large samples using questionnaires and surveys" (Marshall, 2020, Chapter 7).

"Quantitative research designs include:

  • A plan or blue print
  • Vehicle for systematically testing research questions and hypotheses
  • Structure for maintaining control in the study

The design coupled with the methods and analysis provides control for the study. Control is defined as the measures that the researcher uses to hold the conditions of the study consistent and avoid possible potential of bias or error in the measurement of the dependent variable (outcome variable). Control measures help control threats to the validity of the study" (Lobiando-Wood, 2018, Chapter 8).

Quantitative Search Tips

  • Include quantitative as a keyword in your search.
  • Look at Major Subjects, Minor Subjects, MeSH (Medical Subject Headings), and Subjects for the word "quantitative" and any quantitative methods or data
  • Read Methods section in Abstract or Full Text. The Methods section describes the research methods used in the article in detail.

Quantitative Research Methods & Data

  • Correlational
  • Descriptive
  • Experimental
  • Quasi-experimental
  • Cross-sectional
  • Longitudinal/prospective/cohort
  • Retrospective/ex post facto/case control
  • Tests
  • Surveys
  • Questionnaires