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NURS415 Nursing Research Methods

An advanced research methods paper designed to provide students with a working knowledge of a range of methods and analyses used in the field of nursing research. Content will include both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and address research ethics.

The paper gives students the opportunity to establish a foundation of knowledge in a range of research approaches from which to effectively use and undertake nursing research relevant to the practice setting. It works through the research process, from forming the research question to the dissemination of findings, and explores both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Paper title Nursing Research Methods
Paper code NURS415
Subject Nursing
EFTS 0.25
Points 30 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,903.00
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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NURX 415
Limited to
MHealSc, PGDipHealSc
This paper is designed to meet the needs of nurses studying for the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (Nursing). It is recommended as an integral paper for Master of Health Sciences (Nursing) and Master of Health Sciences (Nursing - Clinical).
Teaching staff

Convenor: Dr Philippa Seaton

Dr Virginia Jones.

Paper Structure

Content will include:

  • Understanding ways of knowing and the relationship to 'truth' and knowledge
  • Research Process: background, research questions, ethics, sampling, data collection and analysis, discussion and recommendations, and dissemination of findings
  • Methodologies - qualitative and quantitative paradigms
  • Research designs and related research methods
  • Ethical, cultural and legal considerations
  • Critical appraisal of health research
Teaching Arrangements

This Distance Learning paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching.

Three 2-day study blocks.

View Timetable information.


The recommended textbook for this paper is:

Polit, D.F., & Beck, C.T. (2017). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (10th ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/ Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.

Note: 9th or 10th edition is fine.

If you choose not to use the recommended textbook you are strongly advised to purchase a recent, health research textbook that covers:

  • the entire research process from formulating a research question to the dissemination of findings and;
  • both qualitative and quantitative research approaches

You are encouraged to read widely to explore a range of research approaches. It is recommended that you start to read about health research prior to the commencement of study block one. This could include research articles or research texts. Developing skills of information/literature searching and retrieval is an essential part of self-directed study and research itself.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to:

  1. Articulate the significance of research to the discipline of nursing in terms of integration of theory and practice and the advancement of knowledge and the profession.
  2. Explain the relationship between epistemology and methodology and the application of these concepts in designing a project.
  3. Evaluate various methods of data collection.
  4. Demonstrate a critical understanding of methods of data analysis and interpretation.
  5. Review and evaluate research literature in a systematic and critical way.
  6. Critique the ethical, legal and social aspects involved in research.
  7. Utilise research effectively to ensure a sound basis for clinical practice.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to integrate and synthesise a diverse body of knowledge for application to nursing practice.
  9. Formulate a research proposal.

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This paper will be run in Dunedin subject to numbers, so early enrolment is recommended


Research critique 20%
Systematic / Integrative review 35%
Research proposal 45%

Further information

Coordinator Student Experience
University of Otago, Christchurch
PO Box 4345, Christchurch
New Zealand

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system