It is essential to ensure that every study is conducted in an ethical manner. There are seven major principles of research. The paper at hand is going to analyze ethical considerations related to the proposed research question: In nursing two-year RN program students at Mohave Community college, will the implementation of a concept-based nursing curriculum as compared to standard curriculum increase first-time pass rates for NCLEX?
Ethical Principles and Considerations
The first ethical principle of research is social and clinical value. Every study must be significant, i.e., it must improve the health and well-being of the population, answer a particular question, or obtain new important data. The study must possess sufficient value to provide sufficient grounds for disturbing people and bringing certain inconveniences to them (Marshall & Rossman, 2014).
My research is going to expose human subjects to the suggested intervention. The major value to be obtained is better rates of passing the NCLEX through the use of the concept-based curriculum. In the long run, this would mean an increased number of practicing nurses, which would benefit the whole healthcare community. This will prompt nurses to apply for higher degrees.
The second principle is scientific validity. Every research must adhere to accepted methods and principles to obtain and analyze data in order to produce valid results. First and foremost, the research question is supposed to be answerable, and research methods should be feasible. Moreover, statistical tests must be demonstrative enough to prove the hypothesis (Flick, 2014).
In my research, the standard National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) will be used to estimate the effectiveness of the suggested program. During the preparation stage, other tests meeting the standards of the curriculum will be used to check the participants’ progress. The research question is answerable; the answer will be reflected in measurable results of the first-time NCLEX (which are supposed to be 25% higher in the intervention group). Therefore, the study follows the principle of scientific validity.
The third principle is a fair selection of subjects. This implies that there are no individuals (among those who participate in the study) unfairly targeted for being involved in some risky practices or, on the contrary, favored for advantageous experiments (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2013). In other words, all participants of the trial must be chosen to minimize risks and burdens and increase the number of potential benefits for the population.
In order to avoid privileging, I am going to recruit the intervention group based on students’ willingness to participate. If there are more applicants than needed, random selection will be used. This way, the fairness of the experiment will be ensured.
The fourth principle is a favorable risk-benefit ratio. It consists in minimizing risks while obtaining maximum benefits. The idea is that the former should not outnumber the latter (Cohen et al., 2013).
The study to be conducted will not cause any physical discomfort. However, it is not completely devoid of risks since members of the intervention group will try a new curriculum without being certain what results they will receive. Their disappointment may bring about frustration or depression and (in the worst case) – the loss of educational and employment opportunities. That is why a concept-based curriculum will be thoroughly developed before being tested on students.
The fifth principle is the independence of the review. The key aspects (including target population, study design, and risk-benefit ratios) of the study must be assessed by an independent review board. This is required to minimize potential risks. Another important purpose is to ensure that the suggested experiment is going to be free of bias (Flick, 2014).
Since my study will be conducted in educational settings, the local university review board will be responsible for the assessment. It will also monitor the study in progress since the curriculum must follow the proposed guidelines. This way, it can be guaranteed that no ethical principles are violated.
The sixth principle is the informed consent of the participants. For the study to be ethical, its participants must have freedom of choice whether they want to take part in it or not (Vanclay, Baines, & Taylor, 2013). They also should possess all the necessary information about the research to make their voluntary decision.
To observe this principle, I will explain to students its goal, objectives, and methods for them to understand the reasons to participate. Those who are willing to make a contribution will be provided with information concerning potential benefits, alternatives, and risks. Besides, before giving their signed consent, they will be assured that they can quit the experiment any time they want.
The final principle is respect for participants. It must be shown not only during the enrollment but throughout the entire procedure. Participants’ interests cannot be ignored, no matter how important the outcome of the study may be (Marshall & Rossman, 2014).
First and foremost, I am going to make it clear for the intervention group that they can withdraw their consent at any time. Second, their confidential information will stay secure. Third, all newly discovered risks will be immediately reported. Finally, harm will be minimized.
Conducting research, a scholar cannot neglect the role of community members participating in the study as their dignity, rights, and welfare must be respected and observed under any circumstances. The paper at hand analyzed the seven ethical principles to be followed in application to the suggested study. A conclusion can be drawn that it will successfully observe all the indicated research standards.
Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2013). Research methods in education (7th ed.). London, UK: Routledge.
Flick, U. (2014). An introduction to qualitative research (5th ed.). New York, NY: Sage.
Marshall, C., & Rossman, G. B. (2014). Designing qualitative research. New York, NY: Sage.
Vanclay, F., Baines, J. T., & Taylor, C. N. (2013). Principles for ethical research involving humans: Ethical professional practice in impact assessment Part I. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 31(4), 243-253.