Nursing Literature Review Example

The importance of literature reviews should not be underestimated—they help summarise and make sense of an increasingly vast body of research promoting best evidence-based practice.If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s Rights Link service.

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Conclude your introduction by identifying the overall sequence of your review.

Organize your the body into several paragraphs corresponding to different themes, fields of nursing, or time periods in the literature.

For example, your topic could be "Nursing Ethics." Your style may be to document the transformation in nursing ethics across time ("historical analysis") or to compare ethical principles across different fields ("comparative analysis").

If you select a comparative analysis, limit your scope to a few areas of nursing (e.g. Construct a list of keywords related to your topic that can used to find sources.

Check the references of books and articles to find additional sources. Avoid older sources (more than 10 years old) unless you are conducting a historical analysis and/or they are widely cited in the literature.

Select sources that offer a range of competing ideas and themes.Fraser Mc Guire began his writing career as a volunteer columnist at "Canadian Security Magazine" in 2010.He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science and criminology from the University of Western Ontario in 2008 and a Master of Arts in criminology from the University of Toronto in 2009.For example, if your topic is "Nursing Ethics," some keywords may include: "code of ethics," "confidentiality," or "principles." Search for literature in various publication types, including: books, academic databases/journals, government documents, or health care websites.Search academic nursing journals simultaneously through various online databases, such as Pub Med, Medline, and Scholars Portal.Implementing evidence into practice requires nurses to identify, critically appraise and synthesise research.This may require a comprehensive literature review: this article aims to outline the approaches and stages required and provides a working example of a published review.Using a quality appraisal tool, such as the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) tools,5 results in a structured approach to assessing the rigour of studies being reviewed.3 Approaches to data synthesis for quantitative studies may include a meta-analysis (statistical analysis of data from multiple studies of similar designs that have addressed the same question), or findings can be reported descriptively.6 Methods applicable for synthesising qualitative studies include meta-ethnography (themes and concepts from different studies are explored and brought together using approaches similar to qualitative data analysis methods), narrative summary, thematic analysis and content analysis.7 Table 1 outlines the stages undertaken for a published review that summarised research about parents’ experiences of living with a child with a long-term condition.8In summary, the type of literature review depends on the review purpose.For the novice reviewer undertaking a review can be a daunting and complex process; by following the stages outlined and being systematic a robust review is achievable.The purpose is to critically evaluate the published body of knowledge on your topic.Instead of a long summary of the research, your review should add value to the literature through the identification of important research gaps, controversies and directions for future research.


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