Literature review plays an important role in the research process. It is an irreplaceable tool for the researcher to find reliable sources, which make the work sufficient and interesting. The contemporary amount of written sources gives an opportunity to achieve the best results of the research. Moreover, the nursing area of science demands the usage of literature in any research process relating to the study of medical questions and issues. It helps to support new statements and results of the exploration by using sources, which are basics for the current area of medicine. Therefore, this paper will discuss the importance of literature review for conducting a research in nursing.
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Literature review involves a comprehensive study of available sources on any topic that relates to the nursing area. The presented tool of the research gives an opportunity to a nurse or healthcare worker to find out information, which is already known about the object. It means that there are theories, ideas, and thoughts of people who have already conducted similar researches. Therefore, results of their explorations could be useful for the particular research. Moreover, a comprehensive literature review could help the person to see the whole picture of the process of the research (Coughlan, Cronin, & Ryan, 2013, p. 53). Due to the fact that research opportunities of the contemporary science are huge, the nurse could easily consider information as true without checking it. For example, a recent article about rubella could deliver information that vaccination of a particular disease could cause the appearance of some other infection in the human organism. In such case, the researcher should always remember that the current information could be not credible because it is the result of the exploration by a single company or scientist who can make a mistake (Coughlan et al., 2013, p. 76). Therefore, literature review helps to compare this information with primary sources in order to avoid contradictions in the research.
Literature review tends to be a theoretical body of the research. It is known that the person who intends to conduct the research is not physically able to read all available literature on the particular topic. Moreover, with the development of medicine it is hard to be familiar with all modern explorations. Hence, literature review helps the explorer to be familiar with the recent medical explorations, find out all possible inconsistencies of the new and past results, compare sources, etc. (Grove, Gray, & Burns, 2014, p. 49). Besides the usage of the literature review as the theoretical basis, it should be used to create a plan of the research, choose methodology according to credible works of scientists, identify ways for interpretation of sources and their usage in the context of the personal exploration, etc. Additionally, it should be noted that literature review helps the researcher to find out the object, which has not been studied yet. It is highly important for the scientist in order to avoid plagiarism in case it is a scientific work for the university degree.
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The presented tool of the research makes the researcher think objectively and refer to the primary sources. If the person receives results of some contemporary study, then he/she should compare this information with similar works that have already been conducted by scholars. It should be done in order to find similarities and differences in results relating to the studied object (Grove et al., 2014, p. 80). Therefore, a systematic literature review involves such kind of a comparison, which is needed for a successful research. Objectivity helps the person to realize that some contemporary information could be curved because of factors, which are not related to the object of the research. Moreover, the process of studying a report of an expert in a particular medical area should make researchers objectively receive and analyze information. It means that the current report is only a viewpoint of a single person and could not be considered as a credible source. Therefore, such kind of information should always be checked and compared with primary sources.
One of the main points of literature review is a clearly defined structure. It allows the researcher to achieve the best results. One should choose literature sources that not only support the hypothesis of the research, but also that present contrary results (Siu & Comerasamy, 2013, p. 105). It is needed to find out and explain inconsistencies relating to the topic, which has already been studied by scholars. Such approach allows identifying significance of the research for nursing. Furthermore, analysis of different results present in the literature body helps to define the hypothesis, which will better fit the object of the research. In turn, the use of such approach to literature review assures achievement of its main point, which is implementation of the information that is already known and that needs to be studied further. Additionally, it facilitates the process of learning something important for the research and filling gaps in the literature body (Siu & Comerasamy, 2013, p. 118). Hence, literature review should be an essential part of any research, especially in the nursing area, which should always be precise in studies because results could harm people’s health.
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To conclude, literature review is an irreplaceable part of research in nursing. It allows identifying information, which is needed for the research. Moreover, it helps to find out credibility and novelty of the results of the research, which has already been conducted by scholars. Literature review also gives an opportunity to compare and contrast different sources in order to reveal possible inconsistencies in the results and to analyze them. A clearly structured literature review allows achieving the best results of the research and then implementing them in the nursing area