Great questions are only the beginning of great studies. More often than not, great clinical questions stem from keen clinical observations. Nurses are educated as clinical experts who develop a sense of clinical inquiry. They make observations of phenomenon of interest and, from these observations, develop questions that address the safety and effectiveness of nursing interventions. Efforts by nurses to answer clinical questions often become the genesis of a great study.

The process of answering a clinical question is that step in clinical inquiry that follows identification of the “great question.” That is, the process of answering a question requires a study design. Although working with patients every day allows nurses to recognize opportunities to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and patient-centeredness of care, clinical experts are not necessarily statistical or research design experts. The design stage of clinical research often requires...

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