How to Write an APA Nursing Research Paper: A Step-by-Step Guide with Example

What is an APA nursing research paper?

An APA nursing research paper is a written document that reports on the findings of a nursing research study. APA style is a formatting and citation style that is widely used in academic writing, including nursing.

Why is it important to write APA nursing research papers?

APA nursing research papers are important because they help to advance the knowledge base of the nursing profession. By writing and publishing research papers, nurses can share their findings with other nurses and healthcare professionals, which can help to improve patient care.

How to choose a topic for your APA nursing research paper

When choosing a topic for your APA nursing research paper, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • Your interests: Choose a topic that you are interested in and passionate about. This will make the writing process more enjoyable and rewarding.
  • Your expertise: Choose a topic that you are knowledgeable about. This will help you to write a more informed and insightful paper.
  • The feasibility of your research: Choose a topic that is feasible to research within the time constraints and resources that you have available.

How to conduct a literature review for your APA nursing research paper

A literature review is a critical summary of the existing research on your chosen topic. It is important to conduct a literature review before you begin your research study, so that you can understand what is already known about your topic and identify any gaps in the literature.

To conduct a literature review, you can search for scholarly articles and books on your topic in databases such as PubMed, CINAHL, and ERIC. You can also search for dissertations and theses on your topic in library databases.

Once you have found some relevant sources, read them carefully and take notes on the key findings. Be sure to identify any gaps in the literature that you could address in your own research study.

How to develop a research hypothesis or question for your APA nursing research paper

A research hypothesis or question is a statement that you are trying to test or answer in your research study. Your research hypothesis or question should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

To develop a research hypothesis or question, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I want to learn about my topic?
  • What is the main question that I want to answer in my research study?
  • What are the specific variables that I want to measure?
  • How will I measure these variables?

Section 1: Choosing a research method

There are two main types of research methods: qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative research methods are used to collect and analyze non-numerical data, such as interviews, focus groups, and observation notes. Quantitative research methods are used to collect and analyze numerical data, such as survey data and experimental data.

The best research method for your APA nursing research paper will depend on your research question or hypothesis. For example, if you are trying to understand the experiences of nurses who care for patients with chronic pain, then you might use a qualitative research method such as interviews. If you are trying to determine the effectiveness of a new nursing intervention for reducing patient falls, then you might use a quantitative research method such as an experimental study.

Common research methods used in nursing research

Some common research methods used in nursing research include:

  • Qualitative research methods: Interviews, focus groups, observation, and grounded theory
  • Quantitative research methods: Surveys, experiments, and quasi-experiments

How to choose the right research method for your APA nursing research paper

When choosing a research method for your APA nursing research paper, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • Your research question or hypothesis: The best research method for your paper will depend on your research question or hypothesis.
  • The feasibility of your research: Choose a research method that is feasible within the time constraints and resources that you have available.
  • The ethical considerations: Some research methods, such as experiments, may raise ethical concerns. It is important to consider these concerns carefully before choosing a research method.

Section 2: Designing your research study

Once you have chosen a research method, you need to design your research study. This involves developing a research plan that outlines the steps that you will take to collect and analyze your data.

Your research plan should include the following components:

  • Introduction: This section should provide a brief overview of your research study, including your research question or hypothesis, your research method, and your sample size.
  • Literature review: This section should summarize the existing research on your topic and identify any gaps in the literature that your study will address.
  • Methodology: This section should describe the specific steps that you will take to collect and analyze your data. This includes your sampling method, data collection methods, and data analysis methods.
  • Results: This section will present the findings of your research study.
  • Discussion: This section will discuss the implications of your findings for nursing practice and research.
  • Conclusion: This section will summarize the key points of your paper and restate your research question or hypothesis.

Section 3: Writing your APA nursing research paper

Once you have designed your research study, you can begin writing your APA nursing research paper. Your paper should be organized into the following sections:

  • Title page: The title page should include the title of your paper, your name, your institutional affiliation, and the date.
  • Abstract: The abstract is a brief summary of your paper, including your research question or hypothesis, your research method, your main findings, and your conclusions.
  • Introduction: The introduction should provide a brief overview of your research study, including your research question or hypothesis, your research method, and your sample size.
  • Literature review: The literature review should summarize the existing research on your topic and identify any gaps in the literature that your study will address.
  • Methodology: This section should describe the specific steps that you took to collect and analyze your data. This includes your sampling method, data collection methods, and data analysis methods.
  • Results: This section will present the findings of your research study.
  • Discussion: This section will discuss the implications of your findings for nursing practice and research.
  • Conclusion: This section will summarize the key points of your paper and restate your research question or hypothesis.
  • References: The references section should list all of the sources that you cited in your paper.

Section 4: APA formatting for nursing research papers

There are a number of specific APA formatting guidelines that you need to follow when writing your APA nursing research paper. For more detailed information on APA formatting, please consult the APA Publication Manual (7th edition).

General formatting guidelines

  • Use one-inch margins on all sides of the page.
  • Use double spacing throughout the paper.
  • Use Times New Roman 12-point font.
  • Left-align all text.
  • Use a hanging indent for the references section.

Formatting in-text citations

When you cite a source in your paper, you need to include an in-text citation. The in-text citation should include the author’s last name and the year of publication. For example, (Jones, 2023).

If you are citing a source with two or more authors, you should include the last names of all of the authors, up to six authors. For example, (Jones, Smith, & Brown, 2023).

If you are citing a source with more than six authors, you should include the last name of the first author, followed by “et al.,” and the year of publication. For example, (Jones et al., 2023).

Formatting the reference list

The reference list should be alphabetized by author’s last name. The reference list should include all of the sources that you cited in your paper.

Here is an example of an APA reference list entry for a book:

Jones, A. B., & Smith, C. D. (2023). Nursing research: Methods and critical appraisal for evidence-based practice (9th ed.). Pearson Education.

Here is an example of an APA reference list entry for a journal article:

Jones, A. B., & Smith, C. D. (2023). The importance of nursing research for evidence-based practice. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 55(1), 123-132.

Conclusion

Writing an APA nursing research paper can be a daunting task, but it is an important one. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can write a successful APA nursing research paper that will contribute to the advancement of the nursing profession.

Summary of key points

  • APA nursing research papers are important because they help to advance the knowledge base of the nursing profession.
  • When choosing a topic for your APA nursing research paper, it is important to consider your interests, your expertise, and the feasibility of your research.
  • Before you begin your research study, it is important to conduct a literature review to identify any gaps in the literature that you could address in your own research.
  • The best research method for your APA nursing research paper will depend on your research question or hypothesis.
  • When designing your research study, it is important to develop a research plan that outlines the steps that you will take to collect and analyze your data.
  • Your APA nursing research paper should be organized into the following sections: title page, abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion, and references.
  • There are a number of specific APA formatting guidelines that you need to follow when writing your APA nursing research paper.

Tips for writing a successful APA nursing research paper

  • Start early. Writing an APA nursing research paper takes time, so it is important to start early.
  • Be organized. Keep track of your sources and notes as you go. This will make the writing process easier.
  • Get feedback. Ask a friend, classmate, or professor to review your paper and provide feedback.
  • Proofread carefully. Proofread your paper carefully before submitting it.

FAQs

Q. What are some common mistakes to avoid when writing an APA nursing research paper?

Some common mistakes to avoid when writing an APA nursing research paper include:

  • Not citing sources correctly.
  • Not following APA formatting guidelines.
  • Plagiarizing.
  • Not proofreading carefully.

Q. How do I cite references in APA style?

There are a number of different ways to cite references in APA style. For more detailed information on APA citations, please consult the APA Publication Manual (7th edition).

Q. How do I format tables and figures in APA style?

There are a number of specific APA formatting guidelines for tables and figures. For more detailed information, please consult the APA Publication Manual (7th edition).

Q. Where can I find more information on APA style?

There are a number of resources available to help you learn more about APA style. The APA Publication Manual (7th edition) is the definitive guide to APA style. You can also find helpful information on the APA website and in APA style guides written for specific disciplines.

 

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