Evidence based nursing employs the most current research available on a given topic together with existing personal expertise to generate quality decisions to provide optimal nursing care. Quantitative analysis in evidence based research is aimed at applying knowledge gained from a small sample to a much larger sample or population (Houser, 2012). As such the use of quantitative analysis is crucial in helping generate data, which can be aggregated and analyzed so as to map relationships and even potentially predict these relationships.
However, quantitative data cannot be completely relied on in evidence based owing to two major factors; validity and reliability. While statistical data may be crucial in mapping and predicting relationships, this data may become generally unreliable and invalid over time. This is because with time, numerous parameters and variables change relative to change in the environment. As such, there is need for conducting regular data collection and statistical analyses so as to obtain up-to-date, valid and reliable data.
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Reliability and validity of data is essential to successful and optimal application of change in the practice and outcomes based on my analysis of research (Polit & Beck, 2010). Out-of-date or invalid data would lead to the application of improper changes within the practice, altering outcomes towards unknown and generally unsafe conditions as outcomes would be founded on wrong premises.
When these criteria are met in the evaluation of statistical evidence, optimal and relevant changes will be applied to the nursing practice. More accurate and efficient methodology can be devised to help in quality decision making. This increases confidence in working hypotheses while mitigating error margins within the practice.
Houser, J. (2012). Nursing research : reading, using, and creating evidence. Sudbury: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Keele, R. (2011). Nursing research and evidence-based practice : ten steps to success. Sudbury: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2010). Essentials of nursing research : appraising evidence for nursing practice. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
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