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NURS 5002/6002/7002 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

NURS 5002/6002/7002 - Advanced Nursing Research

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course involves the systematic examination and application of the research process. The concept of evidenced-based practice and its application to nursing is critically examined.

Course Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  1. Examine the current status of nursing research and its relationship to nursing theory and practice.
  2. Evaluate methods of accumulating knowledge according to the philosophical traditions of quantitative and qualitative processes.
  3. Compare basic research designs for their usefulness in the practice setting.
  4. Access current and relevant data needed to address research problems identified in various areas of nursing practice.
  5. Critique published research studies for application to advanced practice nursing.
  6. Utilize information systems for the storage and retrieval of data consistent with a particular population focus.
  7. Delineate ethical concerns and issues related to the conduct of nursing research.
  8. Demonstrate scientific writing and presentation skills.
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

Admission to the TN eCampus MSN program. Pre-requisite or co-requisite: NURS 5000.

Course Topics:

I. Foundations for Nursing Research

    A . Introduction to Nursing Research in an Evidence-Based Practice Environment.

    B. Evidence-Based Nursing: Translating Research Evidence into Practice.

    C. Key Concepts and Steps in Qualitative and Quantitative Research.

II. Conceptualizing and Planning a Study to Generate Evidence for Nursing  

    A. Research Problems, Research Questions, and Hypotheses.

    B. Literature Reviews: Findings and Critiquing Evidence.

    C. Theoretical Frameworks.

    D. Ethics in Nursing Research.

    E. Planning a Nursing Study.

III. Designing and Conducting Quantitative Studies to Generate Evidence for Nursing  

    A. Quantitative Research Design.  

    B. Rigor and Validity in Quantitative Research.

    C. Specific Types of Quantitative Research.

    D. Sampling in Quantitative Research.

    E. Data Collection in Quantitative Research.

    F. Measurement in Quantitative Research.

IV. Designing and Conducting Qualitative Studies to Generate Evidence for Nursing  

    A. Qualitative Research Design and Approaches.  

    B. Sampling in Qualitative Research.

    C. Data Collection in Qualitative Research.

    D. Qualitative Data Analysis.

    E. Trustworthiness and Integrity in Qualitative Research.

V. Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Studies to Generate Evidence for Nursing.

    A. Overview of Mixed Methods Research.

    B. Developing Complex Nursing Interventions Using Mixed Methods Research.

VI. Building an Evidence Base for Nursing Practice  

Specific Course Requirements:

Knowledge of Microsoft Excel and SAS or SPSS data analysis systems to the extent necessary to describe their use in proposed research. Student will need to know how to use a word processor program (Microsoft Word) and an Internet Browser (Microsoft Explorer) to access and complete course requirements.

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) Washington, DC: APA

Assigned periodicals, documents, position statements, and Internet online articles.

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

The student is expected to participate in weekly on line discussions of course content as topics are introduced and as applied to individual readings of current research. The student is expected to determine an area of interest in nursing, locate both quantitative research and qualitative research related to the area of interest, critique a chosen study of each type, using a critique guide from class, and develop a proposal for further research in the area. The proposal including the review of literature is to be presented to a group of professionals of the student's choice and a summary of participant evaluations submitted. The final portion of the course grade will come from objective testing procedures. See Assignments and Projects below for specifics.

PLAGIARISM CERTIFICATE COURSE REQUIREMENT: Plagiarism is a serious violation. It is a form of Academic Dishonesty. Plagiarism is considered "cheating" however most students are not aware how to cite their references or sources. Visit this website and learn what is considered plagiarism and how to prevent it. Submit the certificate of completion prior to the dropbox closing date.

Grading Procedures:

Discussion Grading Criteria

Criteria for discussions are as follows:

* Each discussion module is worth 4 points.

* All discussion postings must include (a) an initial posting that is a thorough response to items requested worth 2 points (any late posting will be penalized 0.2 per day up to 4 days, after 4 days no credit will be earned for this initial post), (b) a reply to another person's initial posting worth 1 points that must relate to module content, and (c) a reply to another person's response to an initial posting worth 1 points that must relate to module content. A total of three responses are required. All responses must be thorough and related to the specific module (e.g., if the module is on qualitative research you must address this concept in your initial and response post). You cannot just give an opinion nor refer to a clinical situation that is not research based. The purpose of the discussions is to facilitate interactions that are related to course content.

* You must make your initial posting within 3 days after the start of the module. Early postings will not receive credit.

* All responses are due by 11:59pm of the day that precedes the start of the next module. You will not receive credit for postings beyond the due date (e.g., if discussion forum ends 10/05 you will receive no credit for ANY posts beyond 10/05).

Students are to respond to all discussion topics in a thoughtful and complete manner. One research based reference (nursing research study) is required in APA format in addition to other references you may use for the initial post. You must post your response based on syllabus criteria in a manner that demonstrates that you understand the topic as it relates to the module content and text reading. The answers provided in the initial post and responses must address the questions being asked in each module. Substantive responses should expand on the discussion by further addressing content in the text, content from other references, or using a different study (not one used in any initial posts) to address some aspect of the module questions. Grammar, punctuation and professional presence (response from an Advanced Practice perspective) will be part of the grading criteria. Please respond to two of your classmates posts.

Initial post must have a minimum 250 of your own words within three days of the start of the module (references, quotes, and inclusion of your own name will not be included in word count). Response posts must be a minimum 150 of your own words (references, quotes, and inclusion of your own name will not be be included in word count). Quotes must be correctly indicated, if not this will be considered plagiarism, a form of academic dishonestly.

Module Quiz Information and Criteria

There are six (6) quizzes in this course which are associated with each module. Each quiz is timed and worth 1 point each. There is specific information associated with each quiz that gives you the time limit. Each quiz is open from the start of the course through the final day of the respective module. You have three attempts for each quiz. The highest attempt grade will be used for the final quiz grade. No attempts that exceed the time limit will count for credit. No time extensions are permitted. No dates are allowed beyond the module close date for quizzes. Any student not taking a quiz that meets criteria will receive a grade of 0 for that specific quiz.

Peer Review Assignment (Module 5)

Peer review assignments will be made by course faculty no earlier than the second week of the class. Peers are responsible for making sure their paper is sent to the student for peer review. Peer assignments are to be forwarded by the respective student no earlier than the day following the official due date per the dropbox and are due no later than 48 hours after the assignment due date and time. This must be sent by course email with a cc to the faculty member. Any student sending an early assignment will be penalized 50% of the points possible. The student reviewer will then complete the review and post their information in the dropbox for faculty grading. Any student not validating that the assignment was sent as required (no cc to the course faculty validated prior to the assignment due date and time) in the course will be penalized 25% of the points possible. No late submission validations (after the assignment due date) will be accepted.

Grading Scale:

Point Range

Assigned Grade

93 - 100 Points


85 - 92 Points


77 - 84 Points


70 - 76 Points


under 70 Points


Assignments and Projects:

Participation in online class discussions (X6 at 4 each - see Grading Criteria) 


Quizzes (1% each X6)


How Research Has Made A Difference (X1)


Problem Identification & PICOT (X1)


Quantitative Research Critique (X1)


Qualitative Research Critique (X1)


Mixed Methods Research Assignment (10% total)
-Mixed Methods Research Design (X1 - 8%)
-Mixed Methods Peer Review (X1 - 2%) 


Presenting Evidence (X1)






Class Participation:

All students are expected to actively participate in online class discussions. As discussion items are posted, students are expected to participate in the ongoing interaction with their classmates. If a student is unable to fulfill this requirement for any reason, he/she should notify the instructor prior to the class and make alternative arrangements. The aim is to encourage interaction among students and faculty, not simply to present information. Students are required to actively participate in all course discussions. Any discussion with no responses will receive a grade of 0. Student responses to discussions must be substantive, that is, thoughtful and analytical. Faculty reserve the right to issue a grade of 0 for repetitive responses (students with initial responses eligible to receive credit). Because the D2L system has its own way of formatting material posted on the discussion board, the student will not be expected to strictly follow APA guidelines for online submissions. However, the student is held to academic standards of writing style and the use of proper grammar, punctuation and spelling.

Late Policy:

All students are expected to turn in work on time. Late assignments will be penalized 10% per day (or any portion of a day) unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor. You must contact the instructor at a reasonable time PRIOR to assignment due dates (e.g., one hour before an assignment is due is not considered reasonable notification time unless it is an emergency). No assignments will be accepted after 4 days. Students will receive a 0 for non-receipt of assignments

QUIZZES: Quiz attempts that exceed the time limit will not be given credit. You are given a designated time. Make sure you adhere to the time limit for each time (attempt) you take the quiz. No quiz resets are allowed in the course. You have three quiz attempts to take each quiz in the course.

SUBMISSION: Assignments must be turned in to the respective drop boxes. Assignments will not be accepted if sent by email or posted to the incorrect course dropbox or other area. Students posting assignments to other areas of the course will receive a 0.

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on September 25, 2017