Contrast between the nursing process and the research process

Nursing process is the systematic step by step process of preparing for, delivering and reviewing nursing care delivery to patients. Nursing research is scientific process that aims at shaping health policy and developing the body of knowledge through scientific inquiry (American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 2006). Both processes are scientific in nature and they deal with facts as guided by investigations.

Both the processes of research and nursing are problems that start with gathering of information (McCabe & Macnee, 2008). In nursing process, assessment is equivalent of problem identification of the research process. Evaluation, the last step in the nursing process corresponds to the analysis, and recommendations steps of the research process. Implementation step of the nursing process is equal to the data collection step of the research process.

McCabe and Macnee (2008) assert that the second ,third and the fourth steps of the two processes appear to be similar though in close scrutiny differences are realized. The second step, which concerns planning for example, differs in the purpose. The research process plan aims at validating or developing knowledge while nursing process aims at providing evidence-based care to patients. Further, evaluation in nursing process focuses on outcomes, while data analysis in research process focuses on understanding. America Nurses Association (2003)notes that the main aim of research process is to fulfil the professional’s mandate by optimizing the well-being and health of populations.

Even though there are some differences between the two processes, they should enjoy a relationship since the two depend on one another. The knowledge basis of the nursing process is provided by the research process.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (AACN), (2006). Nursing research. Washington, DC: American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

American Nurses Association. (2003). Nursing’s social policy statement: second edition. Washington, DC: American Nurses Association.

McCabe, S. & Macnee, C. (2008). Understanding nursing research: Using Research in Evidence Based Practice (2nd ed). United States of America: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins publishers.

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