The purpose of this assignment is for the student to learn to examine, analyze, critique, and summarize an original research article. Student is to select an article from a list located in Course Resources. There is a choice of articles from which you must choose ONE to complete this assignment.

Course Outcomes

Through this assignment, the student will demonstrate the ability to meet the following course outcomes:

CO1: Examine the sources of evidence that contribute to professional nursing practice. (PO #7)

CO2: Apply research principles to the interpretation of the content of published research studies. (POs #4 and 8)

CO4: Evaluate published nursing research for credibility and lab significance related to evidence-based practice. (POs #4 and 8)

CO5: Recognize the role of research findings in evidence-based practice. (POs #7 and 8)


The assignment is worth a total of 200 points.

Due Date

You are to submit your paper to the Week 6 Research Article Review Dropbox by Sunday 11:59 p.m. MT at the end of Week 6.


Through this assignment, the student will:

1.     Critique a peer-reviewed study, and in your own words, describe the research question, sample, design of study, data collection method, findings, and limitations of each. (CO 1, CO2,)

2.     Summarize the research article and evaluate the significance to nursing. Do not just quote the author’s words. Paraphrase the information. (CO 4, CO5).

Guidelines to writing the Paper

1.     Course Resources lists articles from which you are to select ONE to analyze.

2.     Retrieve the full-text version of the article from the library. Read it thoroughly.

  1. Introduction (one paragraph): The introduction should be interesting and capture the reader’s attention.
    1. Provide a brief description of the research article to be discussed.  
    2. Discuss the purpose of your paper. The purpose statement of the paper should relate to the research article reviewed and the implications that it has to evidence based nursing practice.
    3. You will need to summarize and analyze the information from the article in your own words

4.     Describe the research question for this study in a paragraph.

    1. Describe the research in greater detail.
    2. Include your observations about this question.
    3. Discuss events or trends that could have affected this question.
    4. You will need to summarize and analyze the information from the article in your own words


5.     Describe the research design of this study, and in your own words discuss the design.

a.     Discuss the research design of the study. 

b.     Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the type of design and hypothesize why the author                   utilized the design as opposed to others.

c.     You will need to summarize the information from the article in your own words


6.     Describe the sample.

a.     Briefly describe the sample size used for this study

b.     Make a judgment as to whether the sample size was adequate and defend your answer. 

c.     Describe the number or participants and determine if the number of participants was adequate compared to the research question and the intent of the study.

d.     Are these numbers adequate? Discuss gaps in that you identified.

e.     You will need to summarize and analyze the information from the article in your own words


7.     Describe the data collection method(s)’

a.     Who collected the data?

b.     What tools were used?

c.     What were the ethical considerations addressed and discuss gaps you identified.

d.     You will need to summarize and analyze the information from the article in your own words


8.     Describe the limitations of the study.

a.     Identify the limitations within the study

b.     Describe how the limitations could be overcome in subsequent studies

c.     Comment on why limitations are important to list and discuss within a study

d.     You will need to summarize and analyze the information from the article in your own words


9.     Describe the findings reported in the study.

a.     Describe the findings reported in the study

b.     Discuss whether the findings of the study answered the research question posed within the study

c.     Discuss the credibility of the findings

d.     If the findings do not support the research question posed within the study, what do you believe is the reason?

e.     You will need to summarize and analyze the information from the article in your own words


10.  Summary

    1. Summarize important points from the body of your paper including the key components of the paper.
    2. Include a statement about the research question and the findings.
    3. Discuss the probability of implementation into practice. Based on these findings, is the evidence that you found on your topic strong enough to suggest a change in practice, or an idea for practice?
    4. End with a concluding statement.


11.  Citations and References must be included to support the information within each topic area. Refer to the APA manual, Chapter 7, for examples of proper reference format. In-text citations are to be noted for all information contained in your paper that is not your original idea or thought. Ask yourself, “How do I know this?” and then cite the source.

  1. Reference Page: The Reference Page should start on a new page (insert a page break). All references should be cited within the body of the paperas (Author, year) and the full reference should be included in APA format on the reference page. A url link alone is not an adequate reference. See the APA Guidelines in Course Resources for examples of properly formatted references.

Debra C. Hairr
Helen Salisbury

M ark Johannsson
N a n c y Redfern-Vance

Nurse Staffing and the
Relationship to Job Satisfaction

And Retention
E x e c u t iv e Su m m a r y
p The purpose of this quantita

tive, correlational research
study was to examine the rela
tionships between nurse
staffing, job satisfaction, and
nurse retention in an acute care
hospital environment.

p Results indicated a moderately
strong, inverse relationship
between job satisfaction and
nurse retention.

P- A weak positive relationship
between job satisfaction and
nurse staffing was identified.

p Nurses reported experiencing
job dissatisfaction in the past 6
months specifically related to
the number of patients

p Analysis suggested nurses are
staying with their current
employer because of the cur
rent economic environment.

P Improving nurse staffing will be
necessary when the economy
improves to prevent the depar
ture of discontented nurses
from acute care facilities.

n 2004, t h e I n s t it u t e o f
M edicine released a report,
Keeping Patients Safe: Trans
form ing the Nursing Work

Environment. This report recog
nized appropriate nurse staffing
levels are essential for patient
safety. N urse-patient ratios are a
starting point in the discussion of
appropriate levels of nurse staf
fing. R esearchers agree p a tie n t
acuity and skill m ix m ust also be
taken into c o n sid e ratio n w h e n
addressing nurse staffing issues
(Tevington, 2011). There is a p au
city of research that addresses p a
tient acuity, skill mix, and nurse-
patient ratios.

The Am erican Nurses Creden-
tialing Center (ANCC) Magnet®
hospitals are w idely recognized
for prom oting safe and appropri
ate nurse staffing and generally

have good p a tie n t outcom es
(Trinkoff et al., 2010). According
to N eedlem an a n d colleagues
(2011), Magnet hospitals also have
lower patient m orbidity and m or
tality rates th an non-Magnet hos
pitals. A 3-year study conducted
in a M agnet h o spital analyzed
over three m illion patient records.
Researchers exam ined the effect of
inadequate nurse staffing on m or
tality. There was a 6% risk of
death for patients w hen a shift
w ith a nurse staffing shortage of
just 8 hours occurred. The litera
ture suggests nurse-patient ratios
of 4:1 or less provide the m ost
optim al outcom es for patien ts
(Aiken, Clarke, Sloane, Sochalski,
& Silber, 2002; Aiken, Clarke, Sloane,
Lake, & Cheney, 2008; Aiken et al.,
2010; N eedlem an et al., 2011;
Rosenberg, 2011).

DEBRA C. HAIRR, DHSc, MSN, RNC-OB, is Contributing Faculty, College of Health
Sciences, School of Nursing, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN.

HELEN SALISBURY, PhD, is Assistant Professor, Arizona School of Health Sciences at
A. T. Still University, Mesa, AZ.