25 Nov 2022


Research Ethics in Nursing

Format: APA

Academic level: Master’s

Paper type: Assignment

Words: 1353

Pages: 5

Downloads: 0

Step 1: Introduction 

The case study # 2 is selected for this research essay. It is about a nurse named Emmanuel, who aims at carrying out a quantitative study on patients in a hospice facility where he works. The nurse’s intention is to test the efficacy of two different treatment approaches used in reducing pain in patients. The aim of this assignment is to evaluate the application of a quantitative research approach in nursing practice to generate meaningful evidence. The paper will identify the appropriateness of the population selected by the nurse for the research, the ethical considerations, and the strategies that could be used to overcome ethical issues that could be encountered. The paper will also discuss the necessity of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) approvals and confidentiality approvals. 

Step 2: Application of Quantitative Approach in the Research 

From the case study, Emmanuel plans to use a quantitative methodology to carry out his research. The quantitative approach that Emmanuel can apply in this case is experimental research ( Bell, Bryman, & Harley, 2018) . Emmanuel’s approach is perfect for the research because his aim is to verify or refute an existing theory on the effectiveness of non-traditional pain control medications versus the commonly used narcotics. Therefore, I think the approach will help Emmanuel in analyzing the effectiveness of the two pain control medications. The aim of the experimental qualitative approach is to prove or disapprove an existing statement, opinion or idea. I think the approach will help Emmanuel attain his objectives of the research if he will be able to apply the methodology and design effectively. 

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Step 3: The Appropriateness of the Population 

The population that the nurse intends to use is appropriate for the study. Emmanuel’s plan is to use the population that is enrolled in the hospice. The nurse’s plan to divide the participants into groups of two in which one group will receive narcotics only while the other will be given a combination of non-traditional pain medications and narcotics. The nurse will be able to follow up on the effect of the pain interventions on the patients. The nurse intends to determine the benefits of using the non-traditional pain intervention method by observing the patients as well as using the reports of the patient on their discomfort and pain. By using the population enrolled in the hospice, observation will be easy and so will be the reporting of patients making the population appropriate. 

Step 4: Ethical Considerations 

Ethical considerations differ because of the differences that exist in the types of research and the areas of focus. For example, studies that relate to the field of medicine are delicate and sensitive because of their impact on the lives of the people. These ethical principles include justice, beneficence, autonomy, and non-malfeasance ( Epstein, & Turner, 2015) . 

From the case study Hospice, Emmanuel has to consider the above-mentioned principles and observe all ethical matters addressed by each principle. The nurses are required to observe non-maleficence, meaning that a nurse supposed to cause harm to the participants of the research ( Bell, Bryman, & Harley, 2018) . The subjects in Emmanuel’s research must not be subjected to harm in any way whatsoever. For example, Emmanuel must ensure that the participants will not be harmed by the different medications that will be used. Emmanuel must respect the participants’ dignity. Emmanuel needs to apply the beneficence principle, which requires caregivers to do good and the right thing with the patient ( Epstein, & Turner, 2015) . 

The principle of autonomy must be observed in care provision or in operations associated with health. Autonomy is allowing the patient to make their own decisions ( Epstein, & Turner, 2015) . Emmanuel should obtain full consent for the participants prior to the study. He should respect patients who are not willing to take part in his experimental research. In the process of acquiring the participants' consent, he must communicate in assurance the protection of the patients’ privacy ( Bell, Bryman, & Harley, 2018) . 

Emmanuel must ensure confidentiality with the research data. It can be maintained by ensuring the anonymity of the individuals and the organization participating in the study ( Bell, Bryman, & Harley, 2018) . He should avoid exaggeration or deception about the objectives or the aims of the study. Emmanuel must communicate information pertaining to the research with honesty and transparency ( Epstein, & Turner, 2015) . 

Emmanuel must consider multiple strategies to overcome potential ethical issues and safeguard the rights of the research subjects. Such strategies include seeking Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval and engaging the participants before acquiring the consent (providing full information on the research). Medicine related studies that require human participation in modern-day must achieve certain rules and regulations and the expectation in terms of transparency ( Bronte-Tinkew, Allen, & Joyner, 2008) . Therefore, bodies like IRB have been put in place to ensure that the study meets the set ethical standards. Seeking help from an institution like IRB will assist Emmanuel in overcoming ethical issues that might hinder the research and protect the rights of his subjects. 

Emmanuel should engage the potential participants by providing honest and transparent information concerning the research. Through prior engagement, the potential participant will get informed about the research and ask questions that pertain to their rights, health, privacy, and confidentiality of the information. The strategy will help Emmanuel in ethical considerations of the research. 

Step 5: Confidentiality Agreements and Institutional Review Board Approvals 

The IRB is mandated to monitor and review researches that involve humans in order to ensure the protection of their welfare and rights as participants of research. The reviews carried out by IRB encompass the document of informed consent that the subjects should sign, the research protocol among other documents that are deemed relevant for the research ( Bronte-Tinkew, Allen, & Joyner, 2008) . The review is done to ensure that the risks, which the subjects may incur are warranted, the consent documents convey the risks as well as the research’s nature clearly, that the selection of the population is justified and equitable, and that any advertisements made about the research are not misleading. 

IRB also conducts continuous reviews at some intervals to ensure that the benefit-risk ratio of the study remains acceptable and has not changed ( Bronte-Tinkew, Allen, & Joyner, 2008) . All the clinicians, therefore, require obtaining IRB approvals for researches that involve the participation of human beings whether living, specimens, or data. For this research, therefore, the nurse will require the approvals of the IRB in order to acquire ethical, standardized, and safe conduct of research involving human participants. IRB will help the nurse to overcome the challenges that experienced due to the complex regulations and rules and the changing expectations of the society with regard to transparency and consent. 

The confidentiality agreements are aimed at ensuring that the information provided by the participants is protected from use by any other person or any other purpose other than the intended one. The researchers need to protect the confidentiality of the human subjects of the study. IRB guarantees that the privileges, rights, and confidentiality of the study’s participants are safeguarded in order to prevent the program from being vulnerable to legal actions hence the necessity of the confidentiality agreements in this study ( Bronte-Tinkew, Allen, & Joyner, 2008) . 

Step 6: What I Would Do Differently 

If I conducted the research using the same technique, I would propose a large sample size that would not only include the patients enrolled in the hospice but in other institutions as well. Observational type of studies requires that the sample size is large so that the results of the observation can be effective considering the existing diversities in a population. Patients in different hospices have different characteristics and would react differently to the pain intervention methods which would provide more conclusive results. 

I would also ensure that the observation is participatory such that the researcher would intervene in the environment within which the human subjects are in through inserting himself as a group member. This would be important especially in observation of behaviors that would not be accessible otherwise or may be left out by participants in their report ( Reinharz, 2017). Participant observation also ensures that the behavior of the participants is natural, hence the validity of the results. 

Step 7: Evaluating the Ability of the Study to Generate Meaningful Evidence 

For a study to generate meaningful evidence the researcher must have a well-developed methodology, design and analytical tools. From the case study, it evident that Emmanuel has a well-developed research plan. The research plan has a well-developed objective, a target population for the study, a methodology and design in place to collect data. An objective of the study points out the direction and the expected outcome of the study. The methodology and the design are the means of achieving the objective which is part of the engine of a successful study. Emmanuel is concerned with the ethical perspective of the study. His adherence to ethics is likely to generate meaningful evidence for the study. 


Bell, E., Bryman, A., & Harley, B. (2018). Business research methods . Oxford university press. 

Bronte-Tinkew, J., Allen, T., & Joyner, K. (2008). Institutional Review Boards (IRBs): What Are They, And Why Are They Important? Atlantic Philanthropies . (Dated but vital for the paper) 

Epstein, B., & Turner, M. (2015). The nursing code of ethics: Its value, its history. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing , 20 (2), 1-10. Retrieved from https://portal.savonia.fi/amk/sites/default/files/pdf/eng/savoniauas_nursing_article_for_preliminarytask_2020.pdf on January 27, 2020 

Haddad, L. M., & Geiger, R. A. (2019). Nursing Ethical Considerations. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526054/ on January 27, 2020 

Reinharz, S. (2017). On Becoming a Social Scientist: from survey research and participant observation to Experimental Analysis . Routledge. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Research Ethics in Nursing.


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