NURS90059 Nursing Research - Assessment Task 3: Research Protocol

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Assessment Purpose:

The ongoing development of evidence-based practice is reliant on research being conducted that is valid/reliable or trustworthy. This enables us to generate new knowledge and improve care provided to patients and the outcome of this care. An understanding of how to design rigorous research in nursing is key to the generation of useful evidence and is a crucial skill that nurses require so they critique evidence. This assessment requires you to develop a protocol to address a pertinent issue in contemporary nursing practice.

NOTE: You do not need to DO the research project. You also do not need to gain ‘permissions’ from organisations to ‘say’ you would situate the research in their service. This is protocol is a ‘plan’ only to demonstrate your understanding of the research process and research methods.

Ideally, the question you consider should follow on from research question you identified in Assessment Two. Your protocol needs to be detailed and clear about the design, procedures to be undertaken, and how data that are collected would address your research question. You will need to provide justification

/ defence of chosen methods with references from the credible sources to support your approach.

Guidelines for writing and presenting your research protocol

Introduction (approx. 250 words)

Provide a brief outline / signposting to your literature review. Introduce the clinical area and concisely describe the clinical problem / issue and its significance to the nursing profession. State a clinical question that aligns with a recommended mnemonic for question formation.

NOTE: it is likely your question will be slightly more specific than the question you used in Assessment 2.

However, if your question is unchanged from the Literature review/ Oral Presentation, you may use the question without change and this will NOT be self-plagiarism.

While some of the background literature (excluding the question) might be applicable from Assessment 2, you should paraphrase this content to avoid self-plagiarism.

Research design and rationale for chosen design. (approx. 350 words)

This section must include a description of the research approach/paradigm (qualitative or quantitative) and research design you have selected to examine this question. You should describe the paradigm and design and justify why these are appropriate for the question you have posed. You should support this description and justification with references from credible sources.

There are a number of tools/ checklists that help researchers report their studies for publication. However, looking at these tools/ checklists in the protocol development phase ensures that you have thought about and did all the things you need to report on!

As such, in addition to the resources provided during the Nursing Research subject, you may like to access one of these tools/ checklists to help prompt your thinking regarding key elements of the protocol.

Depending on the type of study (research design) to be conducted, a different tool/checklist should be used. To assist with research protocol preparation, the following are just some checklists that might be helpful:

Tool / checklist name Hyperlinked abbreviated name Intended study type
STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology  STROBE checklist  Observational studies
Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trial  CONSORT Statements  Randomised controlled trials
Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research SRQR recommendations  Qualitative Research
Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence SQUIRE guidelines  Quality improvement studies

NOTE: you do not have to present a completed tool or checklist. These resources are being identified as a possible aid to assist you to consider all relevant aspects of a research protocol.

Sample/ Setting (approx. 350 words)

This section should describe who would be included in the study. This should include your eligibility criteria (inclusion and exclusion criteria).

Furthermore, you should include details of how participants will be sampled (i.e., how will they be identified and recruited).

You should provide an indication as to your target sample size, however, an accurate power analysis is beyond the scope of this task.

Data collection / procedure (approx. 500 words)

What data will be collected? For quantitative studies, a description of primary and secondary outcomes measures, the source of the data and the validity and reliability of the data should be described. For qualitative studies, the type of questions or methods to be used to collect data should be described

How will you go about data collection (procedure) and over what timeframe will this occur?

Data analysis (approx. 200 words)

Describe how your data will be analysed.

Study Rigor: Validity/ Reliability or Trustworthiness (approx. 300 words)

Describe what you will do in your study to improved either (a) validity/ reliability or (b) trustworthiness (the focus of which will depend on your study design) and how those steps/elements will improve the rigor of the research.

Ethics (approx. 250 words)

Describe the ethics approval process that you would follow for this research protocol.

Explore potential ethical considerations that are relevant to your research protocol and how you would mitigate the risks.

Potential implications for practice (approx. 200 words)

Describe how your intended research will improve practice. Keep in mind you don’t know the answers to the research; you are just speculating how an answer to your research question would be helpful to guide nursing practice and patient outcomes regarding of what answer would be found if this study were conducted. In short, what is the value of conducting this research and how will it help nurses and patients.

Conclusion (approx. 100 words)

Provide a summary of the main points covered in your research protocol.

All claims and opinions should be supported by available evidence.


APA 7th essay format is to be applied to the structure of the protocol. It is recommended that you would structure this assessment using the headings provided in the guideline.

Referencing must follow the APA 7th guidelines Links to an external site.

An APA-compliant title page must be attached to the front of your assessment. It must contain the running head, subject code and title, the title of your assessment task, your student number, to whom the assessment task is to be submitted to i.e., Subject Coordinator, the due date of the assessment task, the word limit and your actual word count (excluding tables, reference list and appendices).

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