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Qualitative and Quantitative Research Designs


Both qualitative and quantitative research designs are regularly used by professional nurses and scholars who conduct different studies. The context and findings of every project require analyzing it to decide on the most appropriate research method that must be used in a particular case. The following paper is intended to present an overview and description of qualitative and quantitative research designs and identify the best methodology for the study organized in the first week of the ongoing nursing course.

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Qualitative and Quantitative Designs Comparison

To begin with, it would be proper to state that the qualitative research design implies the provision of all the reviewed information in the form of narrative, whereas the quantitative method requires authors to record the acquired data with the use of numbers, statistics, diagrams, and other similar tools (Lewis, 2015). Also, the entire research process might vary, depending on the chosen approach. Some scholars do not hesitate to mix the described designs if their findings lack clear explanations.

Qualitative Research Design

As it is mentioned above, the qualitative research design requires scholars to include images, evidence, and other visual objects in their reports (Lewis, 2015). It is a well-known fact that every variant has its specific methods that must be considered during the project creation process:

  • Interview.
  • Observation.
  • Document Analysis (Lewis, 2015).

In general, qualitative research is a systematic approach implemented to summarize certain experiences and tested cases from the perspective of study participants. Researchers must analyze reactions, actions, and impressions of their sampling members to interpret them academically and make appropriate conclusions (Lewis, 2015). It is necessary to stress that the main goal of the currently discussed approach is to describe other people’s perceptions and attitudes towards certain phenomena they face for the first time in their lives.

If all these recommendations are disregarded, the study might become inefficient and inaccurate (Lewis, 2015). An intended outcome of any research performed in accordance with the basic requirements of the qualitative approach implies a statement of a final grounded study that includes a rational explanation of its primary concepts.

Quantitative Research Design

Quantitative research can be described as a formal, rigorous, systematic, and objective process that must generate numerical data about any object discussed or tested during the study. As stated by Yilmaz (2013), “From a broader perspective, it can be defined as a type of empirical research into a social phenomenon or human problem, testing a theory consisting of variables which are measured with numbers and analyzed with statistics in order to determine if the theory explains or predicts phenomena of interest” (p. 315).

Usually, this approach is used by scholars when they describe various innovative concepts, latest events, and situations (Hartas, 2013). Moreover, this design is beneficial for people who seek an appropriate tool to examine relationships among previously defined variables or determine the efficiency of different interventions or healing processes on all possible health outcomes. For instance, the qualitative research design might be used in the following cases:

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  • Identifying and explaining the reasons for annual flu transmission and the epidemic’s potential influence on the environment (Hartas, 2013).
  • I am evaluating the total statistics of sampling members’ time spent watching television, playing video games, and other indicators per set period.
  • Determining the benefits of calcium and the type of vitamin D it contains the strength of adults’ bones, teeth, and nails.

In conclusion, it would be proper to state that the overall objective of the qualitative research design is to make various tests and experiments (Yilmaz, 2013). At the end of each experience, scholars summarize all the gathered information in accordance with the rules of the chosen method. However, each of them is intended to prove or refute a certain hypothesis (Yilmaz, 2013). As it is explained in the previous paragraphs, it is better to use the quantitative method when it is necessary to summarize some findings or explain relationships among variables, whereas the qualitative approach is intended to examine people’s reactions to various phenomena.

Design Appropriate for the Course Research

The present course’s question aims to test the hypothesis of whether a concept-based nursing program is able to improve first-time NCLEX pass rates by twenty-five percent or not. It is an important detail that the described medical intervention must be compared to its absence (Lewis, 2015). According to the information given in the question, it possible to claim that the most appropriate research design method for this question is quantitative.

There are several reasons for this decision. The first argumentative statement that proves the propriety of the made a choice is that the hypothesis requires a researcher to compare two variables of the given study (Yilmaz, 2013). As it is mentioned in the previous paragraph, there is a dilemma between applying medical intervention and neglecting it for patients’ beneficial outcomes. The research is supposed to test the hypothesis in practice and summarize all the findings.


Both qualitative and quantitative research designs are used to conduct various research in the sphere of nursing. The qualitative approach aims at studying people’s reactions to the phenomena they experience for the first time. On the other hand, the quantitative method is used to define the appropriateness and relationships between particular variables possible to implement to prove or refute study hypotheses.


Hartas, D. (2013). Educational research and inquiry: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. London, UK: Bloomsbury.

Lewis, S. (2015). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Health Promotion Practice, 16(4), 473-475. Web.

Yilmaz, K. (2013). Comparison of quantitative and qualitative research traditions: Epistemological, theoretical, and methodological differences. European Journal of Education, 48(2), 311-325. Web.

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