How to write a Reflection-in-Action Paper

How to write a Reflection-in-Action Paper

Thoughts on Evidence-Based Practice

The impact of evidence-based practice (EBP) has echoed across nursing education, science and practice. To effectively deliver quality services to patients, healthcare organizations must ensure their practices are consistent with current knowledge. Evidence-based practice involves the use of common knowledge in common care decisions to improve patient outcomes and care processes (Chien, 2019). I believe this approach holds a great promise to moving care to another level with the likelihood of producing intended health outcomes. This course has allowed me to explore the context of EBP use in nursing and how to incorporate nursing research into current evidence. I have learned that the shift to EBP intends to standardize healthcare practices and to reduce illogical variations in care that are known to produce unpredictable health outcomes.

The nursing profession remains central to the interdisciplinary and discipline-specific changes that can impact the quality of healthcare. Engaging in evidence-based research is crucial in determining gaps in nursing care and specific changes to improve outdated healthcare practices (Chien, 2019). For example, my recent course activity focused on the challenge of post-surgical pain management and the use of different modalities to improve this practice outcome. Through research, I compared the use of the traditional WHO 3-step ladder for opioid use with multimodal approaches to pain management. Upon completion of my research, I observed that current evidence supports the use of multimodal approaches to post-surgical pain management compared to the use of opioids alone. While most organizations may stick to the traditional 3-step model, multimodal approaches are associated with reduced side effects and improved patient outcomes.

The inclusion of EBP in nursing provides nurses with the scientific research to make well-founded decisions. I have learned that evidence-based practice use in nursing can help decrease the demand for healthcare resources through improved patient outcomes. Through this observation, I believe moving forward should include redesigning healthcare systems through creativity and mastery of teamwork. Nurses should be equipped with knowledge, awareness, and skills to improve systems of care through evidence-based practice use. Lastly, I believe nurses should insist on multiple perspectives of care and the use of sound evidence to enable the transition to modern healthcare delivery.

Ethics in Research

Research ethics govern the standards of conduct for scientific researchers. Upholding the required standards ensures that the researcher can protect the dignity, rights, and welfare of the participants. One crucial part of ethics in research involves upholding the standards of research and working according to the laws of the profession (Yip et al., 2016). These laws apply to the people conducting scientific research or other scholarly activities and serve a given purpose. For instance, ethical norms ensure that the researcher promotes the aims of the research including the aspects of knowledge, truth, and avoidance of errors (Yip et al., 2016). I also believe following the set guidelines ensures values that are essential to collaborative practices like mutual respect, transparency, and accountability are maintained. Keeping ethical practices in mind, I believe sponsors, the public, and project managers can provide the necessary support when the norms of research are followed.

The issue of ethics in research has been the main topic of concern in nursing and is emphasized by organizations like the American Psychological Association (APA). These organizations describe principles that I find useful during the conduction of research. For example, the researcher must be conscious of multiple roles that could impair their professional performance or lead to harm during research. Secondly, informed consent is an important principle that voluntarily allows individuals to participate in research with access to full knowledge and risks/benefits involved (Yip et al., 2016). Above all, respecting confidentiality and privacy is central to every research conducted in healthcare institutions by students or other professionals. While these principles must seem straightforward, challenges with compliance are always experienced due to the limited resources available to guide nursing research.

Protection of Human Subjects in EBP Research

The participation of human subjects in research presents a challenging ethical dilemma. The road leading to the selection of human participants and involvement in EBP research is complex and follows institutional laws. The Office of Human Research protections (OHRP) provides leadership and oversight on all matters related to the protection of human subjects participating in research. The organization is tasked with evaluating the adequacy of safeguards of the rights and welfare of the participants including the inclusion of minority groups like women and children (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), 2018). While researching humans, I believe ethical principles should guide the practice alongside other laws. Drawing reference from the Belmont report, all researches involving human subjects should demonstrate adherence to the ethical principles of beneficence, justice, and respect for human dignity (White, 2020). The research should maximize the possible human benefits while minimizing harm.

Evidence-based practice research is now recognized as the key to improving quality and patient outcomes in healthcare. To achieve these goals, human subjects must participate in research projects. I believe individuals should decide the type of projects they should be involved in and how they could benefit. I will want to understand the risks involved before giving my consent. I will want to understand the adequacy of protection against these risks and the importance of the knowledge that could be gained from the research. The topic of human involvement in research is complex and involves a series of discussions to ascertain all ethical principles are followed (White, 2020). I believe maintaining the safety of the participants and avoiding harm sums the key aspects of human involvement in EBP research.

MSN Graduates’ Role in Research

Nursing research is a multi-faceted scientific discipline that requires a broad clinical background along with advanced education. MSN level of nursing education allows students to participate in research through writing proposals and implementing a few programs in healthcare. The role of the students revolves around managing conduct in research that also entails ensuring ethical principles are adhered to the latter (Hernon et al., 2020). I believe these individuals can participate in designing budgets and writing research grants. MSN students have high-level education that allows a statistical analysis of data, quantitative research methods application, and review of ethics to ensure projects are well-managed. The graduate student can also engage in a literature review, design clinical trials, and coordinate events during this period upon obtaining research focused degree.


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2018). Protection of Human Subjects in Research.

Chien L. Y. (2019). Evidence-Based Practice and Nursing Research. The journal of Nursing Research : JNR27(4), e29.

Hernon, O., Dalton, R., & Dowling, M. (2020). Clinical research nurses’ expectations and realities of their role: A qualitative evidence synthesis. Journal of Clinical Nursing29(5-6), 667–683.

White M. G. (2020). Why human subjects research protection is important. The Ochsner Journal20(1), 16–33.

Yip, C., Han, N. R., & Sng, B. L. (2016). Legal and ethical issues in research. Indian Journal of Anaesthesia60(9), 684–688.

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