A literature review is an essential element in any scholarly research. It involves collecting, synthesizing, and reviewing evidence from previously published studies on the investigated issue. In Boyle and Thompson’s (2020) study, the literature review section is informative and structured. One of the studies reviewed in the article is the systematic review of the dependence of nursing certification on the patient, nurse, and organizational outcomes by Whitehead et al. (2019). Whitehead et al. (2019) searched and reviewed 41 studies and identified that the outcomes of nurse certification are manifested in the appreciation of certified nurses by employers, peers, and professionals. Nurse-specific certification outcomes include personal (job satisfaction, empowerment, and confidence) and professional (specialized knowledge and skills and organizational commitment). It was found that the most influential incentives were personal or intrinsic factors.
The literature review helps scholars identify pieces of evidence that contribute to their topic. It was interesting to find that Boyle and Thompson (2020) only concentrated on the data from the reviewed studies that was indicative of the matter of nursing certification as a manifestation of continuing competence. Thus, the literature review provided the researchers with the most influential factors that motivate nurses to obtain certification, which helped them construct a relevant survey to identify factors influencing nursing certification. Moreover, it allowed for validating findings by locating them within the existing body of literature.
One strategy for creating a well-developed literature review for the study that I learned from Boyle and Thompson’s (2020) article is the groping of studies and their findings by theme. Indeed, a thematic categorization approach allows a researcher to distinguish between the most relevant ideas within the body of literature and build a multifaceted review based on several studies contributing to the same issue. In such a manner, different views and comprehensive and complete evidence are provided as a theoretical background for the actual research.
Thus, a thorough literature review based on the synthesis and compilation of evidence from multiple sources categorized by theme contributes to the success of a study. Indeed, when having initially conducted a reliable literature review, the scholar obtains a solid foundation of information that helps them formulate a relevant research question. Moreover, a proper review of the literature helps identify research gaps and makes the study contribute to the field it addresses.
Boyle, D. K., & Thompson, S.A. (2020). CMSRNs’ continuing competence methods and perceived value of certification: A descriptive study. MedSurg Nursing, 29(4), 229-254.
Whitehead, L., Ghosh, M., Walker, D.K., Boxsome, D., Vafeas, C., & Wilkinson, A. (2019). The relationship between specialty nurse certification and patient, nurse and organizational outcomes: A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 93, 1-11. Web.