Nursing Resources for Acutely Ill Children


When conducting nursing research, it is paramount to be able to choose an appropriate methodology so as to do the study properly. In this paper, a nursing article is considered. The methodology used in it is identified, and the likely reasons of its authors for choosing this methodology are explained.

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A Brief Summary of the Article and the Methods Used in It

In their article, Cimiotti, Barton, Gorman, Sloane, and Aiken (2014) address the problem of the impact of the adequacy of nursing resources in children’s hospitals on the quality of care for children who are patients in these hospitals. The authors utilized the quantitative study design in order to investigate the said problem (Cimiotti et al., 2014). For the purposes of the study, survey data was collected from 3,819 nurses working in pediatric departments in 498 various hospitals across four states (Cimiotti et al., 2014).

The data about the types of hospitals (general hospitals for acute care for adults that included pediatric units; free-standing pediatric hospitals; and pediatric hospitals that were part of larger hospitals for adults) and their characteristics (such as the number of beds available, the level of technology available in hospitals, etc.), about the nursing personnel (workloads, educational attainment, gender, mean age and experience, etc.), about the adequacy of staffing and resources (using the measure known as the Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index assessing the quality of hospital care), and about incomplete surveillance during shifts and missed changes in health conditions of patients was collected (Cimiotti et al., 2014).

To analyze the data, the authors employed statistical methods in order to determine whether there were any significant differences in the outcomes in various types of hospitals, with different characteristics of the nursing personnel, and with different staffing (Cimiotti et al., 2014). It is stated that an analysis of variance (ANOVA) was utilized, and multiple posthoc comparisons were adjusted using the Bonferroni method (Cimiotti et al., 2014). It is stressed that logistic regression models were built as well, in which case Huber-White procedures were also carried out (Cimiotti et al., 2014). The authors employed the STATA software to do statistical calculations (Cimiotti et al., 2014). It is clear, therefore, that a quantitative observational study with a correlational design was carried out.

Possible Reasons for Using Such Methods

It might be possible to assert that the authors utilized the said methodology in order to investigate the problem in question due to the fact that it was the most appropriate methodology to be used in the given situation. Namely, the study was quantitative and not qualitative because it was needed to find out whether a number of measurable factors had an impact on some measurable aspects of the quality of care in pediatric hospitals, rather than e.g., explore what reasons could possibly influence the quality of care.

That is, there were already established measurable categories, rather than unknown or non-measurable categories; this warrants the use of a quantitative rather than qualitative design. Next, the study was observational rather than experimental because the independent variables (hospital type, nursing personnel characteristics, etc.) were not under the control of the researchers, and even if they had been, manipulating them would still be impossible due to ethical concerns (e.g., potentially harming the patients). The study was correlational because it was needed to estimate whether the independent variables correlated with the dependent ones or not, i.e., whether there were differences in the dependent variables depending on which groups (on the independent variables) the cases belonged to.


On the whole, it should be stressed that the methodology used in the article by Cimiotti et al. (2014) was adequate for their study. The research was a quantitative observational study with correlational design. This design was used because it allowed for properly analyzing the problem that the authors desired to investigate.

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Cimiotti, J. P., Barton, S. J., Gorman, K. E. C., Sloane, D. M., & Aiken, L. H. (2014). Nurse reports on resource adequacy in hospitals that care for acutely ill children. Journal for Healthcare Quality, 36(2), 25-32.

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