Nursing Literature Review Writing

Nursing Literature Review

Table of Content

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Purpose of a nursing literature review

1.3 Length of the review

1.4 Steps involved in writing a nursing literature review

1.5 Why you should choose your interests when writing a nursing literature review


A nursing literature review is a summary and analysis of the research of a specified nursing topic. The main aim is not to come up with a new statement. A literature review is a compilation of studies on a subject that tells the reader what has been done in the field. It can be based on an annotated bibliography, but it should do more than summarize each article; it should compare and contrast the ideas found in each article, and suggests future research that may be needed in the topic.

The Purpose of Nursing Literature Review

  1. It enables the student to practice searching, reading, translating, and summarizing the literature on a specific subject.
  2. To encourage the student to choose a subject; the topic should be based on a nursing or midwifery issue.
  3. Decide what is known and what is unknown about a nursing/midwifery topic, definition, etc.
  4. Determines the continuity, and contradictions in a subject’s, concept’s, or problem’s literature.
  5. Explains the advantages and disadvantages of previous designs, methods of investigation, and instruments.
  6. Helps a student to think about the problem-solving methods that have been used in the past.
  7. Assists a student to come up with interesting research issues, projects, and events for the discipline.
  8. Helps answer the research query, choose an acceptable research design.
  9. Assists in assessing whether a well-designed study needs to be repeated or refined.
  10.  Promotes the development of nursing-related guidelines and policies.
  11. Creates a new procedure intervention or justify altering an existing one.

Length of the Review

The length of writing a nursing literature review is determined by the client. Also, it may be determined by the literature that is to be reviewed. A nursing literature review may take more time to write as compared to nursing essays.


Steps Involved in Writing the Review 

Nursing Literature review

Nursing Literature review

In a literature review, the first step is to identify the research issues, theories, quality assurance methods, or a summary of the proposed evidence-based practice, as well as the target population for the project.

If you’re writing a literature review as part of a broader research project (e.g., a thesis, dissertation, or other), or as a stand-alone task, the approach to writing should be identical.

Let’s describe the steps to take to properly manage this role now that you know the general rules and have a basic literature review outline template:

Choose your Interests before Writing the Literature Review

  • Choose a subject that interests you. This may sound obvious, but it does make a difference in your interest and motivation. Identify a specific question from this topic that you can answer from the literature. The key to this is to find a question that is not too broad
  • Discuss this with everyone who’s going to listen to you! This way, you will debate and refine your question until you feel that you have a useful question that you can answer.
  • Work out what kind of literature you need to answer in your question. Not everything related to your question will be relevant and some information will be more relevant than others. Be selective.
  • Most of the questions need to be answered using primary research. In general, if your question involves measuring or evaluating care or intervention, you will probably need to use quantitative research. If your question is more explorative, qualitative research is likely to be the most relevant. Also, remember that identifying the literature you need is one of the most important aspects of your literature review and it is useful to discuss your approach in detail with your supervisor. Think carefully about the type of literature that is most likely to be useful to you.
  • Go to see the subject of your librarian. Some university libraries provide drop-in sessions for dissertation candidates. This will help you to figure out how to look for literature on your subject.
  • Focus on the Keywords in the Nursing Literature Review

  • Identify the keywords and the terms of the quest. Think of this laterally, and do not hesitate to use phrases that are less common or that have become obsolete. This is because the related papers could have been indexed with these terms, and you would lose them if you do not include them in the keyword list.
  • Remember to familiarize yourself with the core features of the database you are using, knowing that each database is subtly different from another database.
  • It is still a smart idea to balance automated searches with alternative scanning methods, example, hand search of related articles or reference lists. This is because some of the main papers could be skipped by electronic searches because of the way the paper is indexed.
  • Look at the abstracts of the papers you’ve come across. It is generally possible to decide from the abstract if the article is useful for your study.
  • Start having hold of the papers that seem to be important. Often, you’re going to need an interlibrary loan to do this. You need to be merciless at this point. If the article does not apply to your analysis, do not include it.
  • Additional Steps

  • List all the papers that answer your study query together. At the undergraduate level, if you have about 10 posts, that’s ideal. Significantly more would mean that you are not in a position to respond to the papers in adequate depth, and very little will provide you enough details to compose your analysis.
  • Be pragmatic, if appropriate, refine your analysis query to suit the articles that you have. If you have so many posts, aim to somehow narrow the focus of your query.
  • The next move is to consider the content of the papers that you have. You may have a paper that is specifically applicable to your study issue, but if the content of the paper is bad, it may not benefit you as much as you expect. It is usually a smart thing to use a critical evaluation method that is unique to the study nature of your paper. This may mean that you need to use a few different critical evaluation methods if the literature review issue allows you to have access to a wide variety of literature. Please discuss this with your boss. Using the Critical Evaluation Tool, consider the strengths and shortcomings of the literature you have established and consider how much effect each paper has on answering the study issue.
  • Final Step

  • Bring all the papers together to answer your study question. It is also helpful to draw up a map of the main topics that appear in the documents, the authors of the papers, where they were published, and their strengths and limitations. Then you will see at a glance which other papers recognize related (or different) themes.
  • As you do this, you will begin to see themes occurring in the literature, and you will be able to answer your query. Note, your comment might well be incomplete. It is very permissible to say ‘there is some proof that.’ rather than to give a definite answer.
  • Lastly, proofread your literature review.


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