A problem statement is a concise and clear description of all issues that are going to be addressed by a problem solving team or an individual researcher in a feasibility report or in a proposal before attempting to solve the problem. It simply describes or defines the active challenges faced by a researcher or a practitioner by outlining the problem that will be addressed in the study. A problem statement should fully describe a problem so that other people can know that there is indeed a problem and how it has been addressed by the researcher. Narrowing a problem statement involves making it to focus on a particular issue or issues. It entails shifting the attention of the problem to a more specific and precise issue and narrowing the problem area into a specific hypothesis rather than addressing issues in general. It takes digging deeper into a problem and then stating only the exact area of concern that will be addressed.
There are difficulties that may be experienced when narrowing a problem statement. One problem is that the researcher will have to narrow the scope of research. It is also difficult to narrow the problem statement and still ensure that it remains substantive, original and not so obvious. The problem statement should not lead a reader into obvious results. Narrowing them down without careful thought may make them too obvious and not original because most narrow topics tend to be obvious and have already been researched on unless extreme care is exercised. There are also a lot of problems that may be encountered with narrowing a problem statement when the topic is still relatively unfamiliar. Another problem with narrowing a problem statement comes about when trying to make the problem statement narrow enough to be able to arrive at a conclusion and solution, yet broad enough for a significant study. Question Two: What are the characteristics of problems that are significant to nursing and thus merit research? Identify at least one problem worthy of research and one problem that would not be worthy of research. Justify your examples. The problems in the field of nursing which require research have common characteristics. One common characteristic of nursing problems that merit research is that they are meant to lead to the improvement in nursing care and the field of nursing in general. Nursing problems that merit research are generally meant to inform nursing caregivers, practitioners and educators on new nursing practices, health beliefs and how to solve pre-existing and emerging problems. The general characteristics of nursing problems that merit research are that it is aimed to build a body of nursing knowledge by finding solutions to nursing problems. Nursing problems are aimed at validating improvements within the nursing field and making healthcare effective and efficient. One problem worthy of research in nursing is the issue of race, culture and ethnicity. This problem is worthy of a research because the practice of nursing entails dealing with different people from different races and ethnicities. Nurses interact with patients from culturally diverse backgrounds who have varied beliefs and practices that need to be taken into consideration when they are giving nursing care. It is therefore necessary to find out what these differences are and to know the best ways to handle them so as to avoid any conflict from arising. It is difficult to determine a problem that is not worthy of research in the field of nursing. Any research that will lead to finding of useful solutions to the field of nursing and improve the field of nursing is worthy of research because it will provide useful insight about the field. Problems that may not be worthy of research, if any, are those that have had too many researchers deal with them and are therefore too common such as attitudes of nurses to patients. Question Three: What are some of the advantages to your organization or practice to