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Nursing - Graduate Programs


PICOT is an acronym used to help nurses develop a well constructed research question.


P:  Patient, Problem or Population

What are the characteristics of the patients or population?

I:   Intervention

What intervention are you considering (medical, surgical, preventative)?

C:  Comparison

What is the alternative being considered, if any?

O:  Outcome

What is the estimated clinical outcome?

T:  Time

What is the time period?

PICO(T) Example

Question: Does a training program on pressure injury prevention increase the confidence in new nurse graduates working in a long term care facility on preventing and recognizing the early signs of pressure injury?

P: New nurses working in long term care facilities.

I: Training program on pressure injury prevention.

C: No intervention

O: Increased confidence in preventing and recognizing early signs of pressure injury.

T: Three months

Possible search terms related to PICO(T) question:

new nurs* OR graduate nurs* OR novice nurs*

pressure ulcer OR pressure injury OR bed sore

training OR education OR competency confidence OR self-efficacy OR knowledge



SPIDER is used for qualitative research projects. These are projects that study the perceptions, experiences, attitudes, etc of a group of participants.

S: Sample

Who are the participants? (Similar to Population in PICO. Groups will be smaller in size)

PI: Phenomenon of Interest

What is being studied?

D: Design

How will the study be conducted (focus groups, survey, observations)?

E: Evaluation

What will be measured (i.e. experiences, attitudes, perceptions, etc.)?

R: Research type

Qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods (or even what type of qualitative study: grounded theory, case study, phenomenology, ethnography)?

SPIDER Example

Question: What are the pressure injury prevention educational experiences of new nurse graduates working at a long term care facility?

S: New nurses working in long term care facilities.

PI: BSN program education with pressure injury prevention.

D: Survey.

E: Experiences.

R: Qualitative.

Possible search terms related to SPIDER:

new nurs* OR graduate nurs* OR novice nurs* OR BSN graduate education OR training OR courses OR course work OR clinicals OR simulation pressure ulcer prevention OR pressure injury prevention OR bed sore prevention experiences OR perceptions OR perspectives