Week 4_ discussion post replies | NURS 3150 – Foundations of Nursing Research | Walden University

Discussion Instructions:

· Read two of your colleagues’ postings from the Discussion question.

· Respond
 to  your colleagues with a comment that asks for clarification, provides support for, or contributes additional information.

· Use at least 2 references in each reply .

Post # 1

Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research:

Qualitative research, as exemplified by Vretare and Anderzen-Carlsson (2020), focuses on understanding a phenomenon deeply, capturing the nuances, intricacies, and subtleties that quantitative research might not be equipped to handle. The study by Vretare and Anderzen-Carlsson delved into the critical care nurses’ perceptions of handover, revealing five descriptive categories linked with this phenomenon. Such richness and depth of data cannot be captured through mere numbers or statistics.

Critics argue that qualitative research lacks rigor, mainly due to its subjective nature. However, one could counter this argument by emphasizing the rigorous methodology employed in qualitative studies. In Vretare and Anderzen-Carlsson’s study, a structured phenomenographic approach was used, and the research design included careful consideration of trustworthiness components such as credibility, transferability, confirmability, and dependability (Shenton, 2004). The iterative analysis process ensures rigor, and their method of ensuring that the categories generated from the data are logical and interrelated showcases a structured approach. Thus, while qualitative research might have different controls than quantitative studies, they are nonetheless essential for generating results that significantly contribute to the nursing knowledge base (Manser & Foster, 2011).

Investigating Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs) through Qualitative Research:

HAIs are undeniably a significant concern in patient safety. While quantitative research can provide data on the prevalence, distribution, and correlation of HAIs, qualitative research can offer insights into the experiences of patients, healthcare workers’ perspectives, and systemic issues contributing to the occurrence of these infections. The findings from Vretare and Anderzen-Carlsson emphasize the importance of communication, responsibility shifts, and patient safety. These themes could be highly relevant when examining the factors contributing to HAIs. Understanding healthcare workers’ perspectives on hygiene practices, patient handover, or the use of protective equipment through qualitative studies could reveal deeper contextual issues or behavioral aspects leading to HAIs.

To conclude, qualitative research, with its focus on understanding in-depth experiences and perceptions, plays a pivotal role in the realm of nursing and healthcare. Its results are vital for bridging the knowledge gaps that quantitative data alone cannot fill. When used in conjunction with quantitative methods, qualitative research can provide a comprehensive view of issues like HAIs, leading to more effective interventions and improved patient outcomes.


Vretare, L. L., & Anderzen-Carlsson, A. (2020). The critical care nurse’s perception of handover: A phenomenographic study.

Shenton, A. K. (2004). Strategies for ensuring trustworthiness in qualitative research projects. Education for Information, 22(2), 63-75.

Manser, T., & Foster, S. (2011). Effective handover communication: An overview of research and improvement efforts. Patient Safety in Surgery, 5(1), 11.

Post # 2

Qualitative vs Quantitative


Nursing continues to evolve based on research. Advancements and protocols are constantly changing to meet the needs of the patients. When most people think of research, they think of quantitative studies. Quantitative research is a “formal, objective, systematic study process that counts or measures in order to answer a research question. Its data is analyzed numerically” (Gray & Grove, 2020, p. 820). Many people, though, are not familiar with qualitative studies. Qualitative studies are used to “describe life experience, cultures, and social processes from the perspective of the persons involved” (Gray & Grove, 2020, p. 820). The qualitative research process is conducted differently, causing some claims to refute its rigor.

Researchers using the qualitative method work hard to conduct studies and implement strategies to build trustworthiness and validate the information produced. Some methods researchers use to ensure the rigor of qualitative studies are reflexivity, positioning, audit trail, member checking, triangulation, and research debriefing (Gray & Grove, 2020, p 317). These different methods are comparable to the controls placed in quantitative studies. They are meant to check researchers and cross-validate. The amount of time researchers dedicate to these studies ensures the information is upheld from a scholarly view.

Qualitative studies are essential for describing things and answering questions that quantitative studies cannot. Loefgren Vretare & Anderzén-Carlsson (2020) conducted a study investigating the phenomenon of the nursing handover. Using the phenomenographic design, Loefgren Vretare & Anderzén-Carlsson (2020) were able to track the shift of responsibility between nurses in the hand-off. Studies like this are vital in understanding the way nurses communicate. Knowing where the change in responsibility is between nurses opens up questions on how to increase the quality of handovers for better patient safety. This is just one way qualitative studies add to the holistic care of nurses.

The research question I discussed in my first discussion post was: Does initiating early nutritional supplements decrease the prevalence of pressure ulcers in intubated patients? For this specific question, quantitative methods are the most appropriate; that does not mean there are unrelated questions that could be investigated using qualitative methods. Questions could be related to doctors’ perceptions of adding early nutrition into the intubation protocol.



 Gray, J. R., & Grove, S. K. (2020). Burns and Grove’s The practice of nursing research: Appraisal, synthesis, and generation of evidence. (9th ed.). Elsevier – Health Science.

Loefgren Vretare, L., & Anderzén-Carlsson, A. (2020). The critical care nurse’s perception of handover: A phenomenographic study. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, 58(58), 102807. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iccn.2020.102807

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