Ah, yes---------research. A good word. How about another good word?----------theory.
I know-------groan. But it applies here. One of the reasons theory is important is to justify that what nurses do is "nursing" and not just "helping the doctor".
I believe the comment you noted, that started this thread, was really a veiled critisism that APNs are doing "doctor's work" or that they "want to be doctors". The person was implying that only physicians can do a real patient assesment. That patient assesment by a nurse is not as good, because it is grounded in nursing theory, not medical theory.
There is really another, even deeper level to this debate (Are you still with me?). What the person was actually complaining about is that APNs are not under the MDs control, like a PA is. And the biggest issue of all is money. APNs can bill independently (CRNAs can, and the others are making progress). Meaning they are in direct financial competition with MDs. PAs pose no such threat because their practice is dependent on the MD.
Now you might begin to see why your investigation into two types of assesment did not yield any results. It really is a bigger debate than patient assesment skills.
You are just beginning your entry into nursing. Much of this may be of little interest to you now. But tuck it away in the back of your brain. These are issues of great importance, that will affect you later.
But for now, know that all those theory and research classes are important, no matter how abstract they seem to you now. Learn all you can about NURSING. If you want to learn about medicine, make sure you are really doing what you want to do. (And remember that "medicine" is not all there is to "health care") If you learn all you can about patient assesment from all the books, instructors, experienced RNs, ICU nurses, APNs, etc then you will learn to perform excellent NURSING assesments.
Thank you for allowing me to use your quesstion to get up on one of my favorite soapboxes. I know I turned what you thought was a simple question into a philosophy exercise. But if even a few nurses in cyber-land stayed with me enough to at least give this some thought, I think it can help our profession.