Nursing Research Classification System Sigma Theta Tau International

Afza.Malik GDA

Sigma Theta Tau International and Nursing Research Classification

Nursing Research Classification System Sigma Theta Tau International

Nursing Research Classification System,Issues for Classification,Nursing Research Classification,Language and the Structure of Clinical Nursing,STTI Nursing Research Classification System (NRCS),Short Research Studies,Research Question Analysis,Domains of Research Catalog,Storing and Retrieving Researching.

Nursing Research Classification System

    The first nursing research classification system was developed during the project Survey and Assessment of Areas and Methods of Research in Nursing. It was conducted at Yale University under the direction of Leo W. Simmons, a sociologist. Two other sociologists and Virginia Henderson comprised the survey group (Cowan, MC, 1956). 

    This system formed the basis for the annotation of English language nursing studies in the Nursing Studies Index between the years 1900 and 1959 (Henderson & Yale University). 

    The term study was broadly defined as “a structured effort to solve a problem” and included historical and biographical articles and monographs in addition to what Henderson called analytical (research) articles (Henderson & Yale University, 1959, p. vii). This classification system categorized the types of nursing research according to fields on which nurse researchers focused their work.

Issues for Classification

This research classification system was abandoned because there was a desire to index all the nursing literature, not just the research literature. To facilitate indexing and retrieval of this broad literature, it was decided to switch to a subject headings system. Subject headings permit articles to be located according to what the various articles are about. 

    The headings describe important topics in a field and are usually organized into a tree structure to illustrate relationships between the various topics and subtopics. A subject heading system in and of itself does not enable comparison of studies according to aspects such as research design and methods and the myriad of other comparisons of interest in the body of nursing research.

Nursing Research Classification

    The idea of a classification system for nursing research was not lost, however. Sigma) Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing (STTI), began work on the Nursing Research Classification System (NRCS) in the early 1980s. 

    In addition to categorizing the fields in which nurse researchers did studies and the research subjects and methods in which they had experience, an early purpose was to facilitate identification and location of the nurse researchers. 

    Now in its third edition, the system includes description of studies, variables, and findings. The NRCS serves as the structure for the databases that were combined and came to be known as the (electronic) Registry of Nursing Research (Graves, 1994).

 Language and the Structure of Clinical Nursing

    In this version it is a representation of the language and the structure of clinical nursing research knowledge as well as the language and structure of research knowledge in related domains in which nurses do research such as education, administration, management, and so forth. In this usage, the term language refers to the names of research concepts and of variables studied together. The term structure refers to the descriptive details of the research describing any study: 

(a) the demographics (investigators, dissemination, funding, title, conceptual framework)

(b) the sample, methodology and design, and analysis and results

(c) the relationships (hierarchical arrangement) between these descriptors. Multiple knowledge (generation) theories are accommodated.

STTI Nursing Research Classification System (NRCS)

    The STTI Nursing Research Classification System (NRCS) is a detailed description of the structured inquiry process used in individual nursing research studies. It identifies and logically relates salient characteristics of research studies in nursing, salience is defined by whether a descriptive term.

(a) permits a comparison of studies according to the details of the research process, such as the design, the subjects, and the findings

(b) enables researchers and other users of research to make a preliminary judgment about the quality of a registered study, given the design

(c) enables direct indexing of the knowledge generated by each study (variable names and results)

(d) permits a comparison between studies that is of interest to the nursing profession, such as funding sources and amounts or do mains of research that nurses investigate (education, administration, philosophy, culture, etc.).

    In keeping with the original purpose of locating researchers, the category Researcher is the primary hierarchical element. The basic organization is described here:

Short Research Studies

    Each researcher may have many research studies. The single research study is the basic unit of analysis. A study may or may not be a part of a larger research project. Each research study is classified according to title, theoretical/conceptual framework, research domain, funding, keywords (subject headings), dissemination record, participants/sample, sampling plan, scope of sampling, data collection site, design type, extraneous variables. Each study may ask many research questions.

Research Question Analysis

    Each research question may have many analyses.Each analysis is classified according to the nature of the inquiry (knowledge theory), procedures, type of analysis, method of data analysis, research concept or names of variables studied together, relationship studied (if applicable), and findings.

Domains of Research Catalog

    The NRCS category Domain of Research is analogous to the first 9 of 10 categories of the Henderson nursing research classification system. Although not absolutely identical in detail, the categories are remarkably similar. 

    Henderson's 10th category "Conducting Research, incorporates "Research methods and types including devices and techniques," whereas these characteristics form the primary corpus of the STTI NRCS, with domains being a secondary characteristic.

Storing and Retrieving Researching 

    The NRCS provides a structure for a new archetype for storing and retrieving research knowledge in all disciplines. Of all the health science disciplines, only that of nursing has developed a research classification system. The classification system serves as the logical model for the database that organizes the Virginia Henderson Library's Registry of Nursing Research. 

    The Virginia Henderson International Nursing Library is the only known library to store research studies according to a research classification system and to index that research by the names of the variables or research concept studied.

    The NRCS plays an active role in contributing the nursing subject headings maintained by the Cumulative Index for Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL). STTI has permission to use the subject headings from the CINAHL subject heading list in selected NRCS categories (ie, funding sources, nursing theoretical framework, indexing terms, data collection sites). 

    This prevents the development of still another subject heading system to describe the same topics, thus facilitating searching of both the CI-NAHL bibliographic database and the STTI Registry of Nursing Research. As the NRCS becomes more widely used, new terms in use by researchers will provide real data to influence updates of the CINAHL subject heading list. In turn, the CINAHL subject heading list will be used to maintain the descriptors in selected NRCS categories.

    The NRCS identifies the data elements necessary for generating an index to the studies in the Registry of Nursing Research, organized by variable name so that the index lists all studies in which a particular variable is studied.

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