Nursing Research Problems

What Are the 5 Sources of Nursing Research Problems?

Nursing research is the cornerstone of healthcare advancements, underpinning the delivery of evidence-based, high-quality patient care. At the heart of this crucial endeavor lies the identification and exploration of nursing research problems. These problems are the compass guiding the efforts of nursing professionals and students, helping them delve into areas of paramount significance within the nursing domain.

However, where do these research problems originate, and how are they formulated? This comprehensive exploration will unravel the five key sources that lay the foundation for these critical research inquiries. From personal experiences to interdisciplinary perspectives, we will embark on a journey to understand how nursing research problems come to life. In addition, we will comprehend why they are essential for the continual progress of the nursing profession.

Join us as we delve into the world of nursing research, discovering the origins of these pivotal questions and their profound impact on healthcare practices, patient outcomes, and the broader healthcare landscape.

What is a Nursing Research Problem?

A nursing problem is a specific and well-defined issue or question that needs investigation within the nursing field. In addition, it serves as the foundation for nursing research students and helps guide the research process. Nursing research problems are typically framed in a way that identifies a gap in knowledge or a challenge within the nursing profession, including topics related to patient care, healthcare practices, healthcare systems, and more.

These problems are carefully formulated to be clear, concise, and relevant, enabling researchers to design studies that generate new knowledge. In addition, they enable them to subscribe to the enhancement of nursing practice, patient outcomes, and the overall healthcare system. Addressing nursing research problems is essential for advancing the field and ensuring evidence-based, high-quality patient care.

Types of Research Problems

Research problems can vary widely depending on the field of study and the specific research objective, but they can generally be categorized into several types. In addition, there are four types of research problems that you need to know before we look at the sources of a research problem. Below are the four common types of research problems:

  • Relational research problem
  • Casuist research problem
  • Descriptive research problem
  • Difference research problem

Relational Research Problem

A relational research problem suggests the need to investigate the correlation between two or more variables. In addition, the researcher is responsible for investigating several precise characteristics and identifying the relationship between them. The goal of relational research is to recognize associations between variables, determine the direction and strength of those associations, and explain the underlying mechanisms that account for the associations.

Casuist Research Problem

Casuist research problem has to do with determining what is right and wrong. In addition, it questions human conduct by looking closely at moral dilemmas through careful differentiation of cases and applying general rules.

Descriptive Research Problem

In this case, a researcher looks forward to investigating a “what is” issue. The goal of evaluating a descriptive research problem is to determine the underlying significance of an event or the existence of a situation.

Moreover, with the descriptive research problem, a researcher can discover understudied or hidden issues.

Difference Research Problem

A difference research problem focuses on the distinction between two or more groups. More often than not, researchers use this type of problem to compare and contrast more than one phenomenon.

What are the 5 Sources of Research Problems?

Knowing the types of possible research problems you can focus on in a term paper, let us look at the sources you can use to identify research problems. From a research perspective, the kind of research problem that you wish to investigate should meet two conditions.

First, the problem has to be distinctive and not something other researchers have already looked into exhaustively. Second, the problem must be concise enough to raise specific issues you can address in a research paper. Below are five sources of a research paper:

  • Interviews
  • Personal experiences
  • Deductions from theory
  • Interdisciplinary perspective
  • Relevant literature


Interview sessions can be crucial sources of research problems. The methods allow you to have formal discussions and informal interactions with individuals who can provide valuable insights into research and make findings more relevant to future research.

Consider having discussions with experts in the field you wish to investigate. These experts must be healthcare service providers, business leaders, teachers, social workers, attorneys, and accountants.

By interacting with these experts, you can recognize real-world problems researchers have ignored or understudied in the academic space. Furthermore, interview sessions allow you to get some practical knowledge that can assist you in designing and conducting your studies.

Personal Experiences

Your everyday experiences are a good source of a research problem. You have to think critically about your personal experience with an issue that affects your family, personal life, or community. Therefore, a research problem delivered from personal experience can spring from any issue and from anywhere.

For instance, you can develop a research problem from events that appear out of the ordinary or form community relationships that do not have clear explanations.

Deductions from Theory

A deduction from theory is the inferences a researcher makes from the generalizations of life in a society that a researcher knows very well. In addition, a researcher takes the deduction, places them in an empirical frame, and then, based on a theory, develops a research problem and a hypothesis that suggests some findings based on given empirical outcomes.

Moreover, the research accounts for the relationship to observe if a theory summarizes the state of an affair. A systematic investigation, which examines if the empirical information affirms or rejects the hypothesis, comes next.

Interdisciplinary Perspective

Take into account interdisciplinary perspective to recognize a problem for a research study. You will have to look at scholarship and academic movements from outside your primary area of investigation. In addition, it is an intellectually involving process that needs reviewing pertinent literature to discover distinctive avenues of exploration and analysis.

The merits of using this perspective to recognize a research problem for your research paper assignment are that it allows you to comprehend complex issues efficiently.

Relevant Literature

To generate a research problem from relevant literature, you must first review research related to your area of interest. Doing so allows you to find gaps in the topic, making it simple to comprehend just how much your area of interest is understudied.

Data collected from relevant literature is relevant as it assists in:

  • Filling existing gaps in knowledge based on a specific research
  • Determining if current studies can have implications for further research on the same issue
  • Seeing if it is possible to conduct a similar study in a distinct area or apply the same in a different context
  • Determining if the methods used in previous studies can effectively solve future problems.

However, we cannot stress enough the value of existing literature. Therefore, the outcomes should point you toward an outstanding issue, suggest future gaps, and make it possible to delineate gaps in existing knowledge.


Nursing research problems are the vital compass guiding the healthcare industry toward evidence-based, high-quality patient care. This exploration has uncovered the five essential sources of these problems, including personal experiences, interviews, deductions from theory, interdisciplinary perspectives, and relevant literature.

These sources not only inspire researchers but also drive innovation, ensuring the continual progress of the nursing profession. By addressing these pivotal questions, nursing professionals and students contribute to improving healthcare practices, patient outcomes, and the broader healthcare landscape, ultimately shaping the future of nursing. Alternatively, if you ever need assistance, you have the option to buy essays online from our expert writers!

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