How to critique a nursing research article

Written by charlie gaston
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Critiquing a nursing research article requires an understanding of the trends, obstacles and research reports that are currently and historically relevant in the health care industry. With this background information, the reader can ask investigative questions to better determine if a nursing research article is effective, unbiased and relevant to the health care industry as a whole.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Determine if the nursing research article references current or historical case studies on the subject. A good article references case studies, reports and health care industry leaders to validate the evidence provided. An article should not make unsubstantiated claims.

  2. 2

    Determine if the research or study is supported by a need within the health care industry. A good article includes evidence of how the nursing or the health care industry will or should change as a result of the research provided within the article. When evaluating an article, think about how the writer demonstrates this change and what predictions are made regarding the potential for the change to occur.

  3. 3

    Evaluate how new evidence and case studies are used within the article. A good article should include case studies in which case study participants are clearly described with a clear understanding of how the test subjects were chosen and evidence collected.

  4. 4

    Determine if the nursing research article is filled with an excessive amount of citations from other sources. Do the citations disprove current evidence? Should some be removed and replaced with the writer's own ideas? Does the writer defend the opposite position? Is the article fair and unbiased?

  5. 5

    Evaluate the writer's style by focusing on her use of language, presentation of facts and use of examples throughout.

  6. 6

    Evaluate the resources provided. They should be linked to historical data sources and reputable industry publications such as "The American Nurse Today" or "The American Nurse." Does the writer provide a balanced review of the evidence?

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