Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



First Committee Member

Barbara St. Pierre Schneider

Second Committee Member

Patricia Alpert

Third Committee Member

Tricia Gatlin

Fourth Committee Member

Sue Schuerman

Number of Pages



The state of the science of nursing education is determined by the extent of and characteristics of nursing education research. Based on previous research findings, the methodological quality of nursing education research could be much higher. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the methodological quality, funding, journal impact factor, international nature, and areas of inquiry of current nursing education research (Aim 1). The study also aimed to determine research characteristic differences between current nursing education research and research published four to six years ago (Aim 2).

For Aim 1, this study was a cross-sectional design study. Nursing education research articles (N = 108) published from January 2011 to December 2013 were assessed. The articles were obtained by performing an advanced search in the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) database for nursing education research articles published between January 2011 and December 2013. The other limits of the search were English language, peer-reviewed, research article, nurse first author and nursing education as special interest. Quantitative studies involving nursing student data generated by either recruiting nursing students as subjects or using nursing student records were included in the study. Articles were excluded if they were conference abstracts (51); non-research articles (13); qualitative research reports (40); published in a non-peer reviewed journal (1); research reviews or literature reviews (8); if the study subjects were exclusively nursing faculty (35), nursing programs (6), staff nurses or clinical nurse specialists (68), new graduate nurses (17), or other non-registered nursing students (5); and if the study did not involve current students at the time of data collection (2). The resulting 108 articles were then analyzed by two independent raters. Methodological quality was assessed using the Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument (MERSQI). Research funding, journal impact factor, international nature, and areas of inquiry were also evaluated.

For Aim 2, methodological quality, areas of inquiry, international nature, research funding, and journal impact factor of current research were compared with research findings of 133 nursing education research published between July 2006 and December 2007.

In comparison with past research, current research consisted of more studies with a randomized control trial design and an U.S. setting. Also, areas of inquiry have changed from past to current research, including a greater focus on simulation. The overall methodological quality, funding, and journal impact factor were found to be comparable to previous research.

In conclusion, current nursing educational research with more randomized control trial design suggests increasing rigor in nursing education research. Furthermore, current nursing educational research involves new areas of inquiry, indicating an expansion of nursing education research subject matter.


MERSQI; Methodological Quality; Nursing – Study and teaching; Quality control; Research; Research – Methodology


Education | Nursing

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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