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Aspects of Nursing Research

Experimental and Nonexperimental Research Design

Research in nursing can be experimental and nonexperimental, depending on the researcher’s goal. The former involves manipulation with a variable to determine how it affects the outcome (Nieswiadomy & Bailey, 2018). An example would be researching how a nurse’s intervention impacts a mother’s breastfeeding efficacy (Piro & Ahmed, 2020). It is a fully experimental study as there are the control and the experimental groups. Nonexperimental research design lacks manipulation and is descriptive, aiming to obtain information without invasion (Nieswiadomy & Bailey, 2018). For example, a study focusing on discovering how nurses’ job satisfaction relates to their desire to develop professionally is conducted through surveying the participants (Hariyati & Safril, 2018). Ideally, experimental studies should have control to avoid undesirable influences on variables, but it can be difficult to achieve with human beings; meanwhile, nonexperimental studies have minimal or absent control.

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The Sampling Theory

Sampling is an essential part of any research, and a correct approach determines the study’s success. It includes selecting people, either individuals or groups, with a certain characteristic for studying, and the sample ideally represents the target population. Usually, inclusion and exclusion criteria are applied to make the selection more accurate. Sampling can be random or selective, and while the latter affects representativeness, it is necessary for studying relationships between specific demographics and diseases or how a method impacts a group’s well-being (Grove & Gray, 2019). For instance, discovering the impact of Tele-nursing on patient adherence to post-operative treatment after a certain surgery requires a sample of patients who underwent it (Bikmoradi, Masmouei, Ghomeisi, & Roshanaei, 2016). Meanwhile, the sampling for the previously mentioned studies can be more randomized, as nurses and pregnant women are broader population groups. A study’s success is determined by its generalizability when its findings can be applied to the entire target population; for example, Tele-nursing is supposed to help all patients after that surgery (Grove & Gray, 2019). Limitations regarding sampling and generalizability exist, and researchers tend to highlight them so as not to mislead nurses who would want to apply the results to their work.


Bikmoradi, A., Masmouei, B., Ghomeisi, M., & Roshanaei, G. (2016). Impact of Tele-nursing on adherence to treatment plan in discharged patients after coronary artery bypass graft surgery: A quasi-experimental study in Iran. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 86, 43–48. Web.

Grove, S. K., & Gray, J. R. (2018). Understanding nursing research: Building an evidence-based practice (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

Hariyati, R. T. S., & Safril, S. (2018). The relationship between nurses’ job satisfaction and continuing professional development. Enfermería Clínica, 28, 144–148. Web.

Nieswiadomy, R. M., & Bailey, C. (2018). Foundations of nursing research (7th ed.). New York City, NY: Pearson.

Piro, S. S., & Ahmed, H. M. (2020). Impacts of antenatal nursing interventions on mothers’ breastfeeding self-efficacy: An experimental study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 20(1), 19-31. Web.

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