Research Methods for Nursing and Healthcare

Sample and Setting

The researcher will sample nurses and congestive heart failure patients at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. Nurses will be sampled from the hospital’s department of cardiology. They have to have worked in this department for at least five years. They will provide their expert opinion on this issue under investigation. On the other hand, it will be necessary to sample congestive heart failure patients who have been readmitted to the hospital to understand possible reasons for readmission. A sample of 50 respondents (25 patients and 25 nurses) will be identified.

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Sampling Strategy

Using judgmental sampling will be necessary for this study. This non-probability sampling technique makes it possible to select specific nurses and patients within the large hospital who can help gather the needed data (Boswell & Cannon, 2017). Nurses in the department of cardiology and patients who have been re-admitted because of the problem of congestive heart failure are in the best position to provide the information needed in the study.

Research Design

The most appropriate research design for the study is a descriptive method. The quasi-experimental method or any other form of experimentation was inappropriate because of the seriousness of cardiovascular diseases. A patient can easily die in the process of research, which made it necessary to choose an ethical design that is safe for patients. The method will make it easy to use case studies, observation, and surveys to collect and analyze data (Maltby, Williams, Mcgarry, & Day, 2013). It allows a researcher to gather information without influencing events. The design will make it possible to collect and analyze data both qualitatively and quantitatively, providing comprehensive information on the topic under investigation.

Extraneous Variables

The study will investigate how independent variables (time a nurse spends on educating a patient, use of specific educational tools to improve a patient’s knowledge, and follow-up interventions) affect the dependent variable (number of readmissions among congestive heart failure patients discharged after hospitalization). However, the researcher understands that the existence of extraneous variables may affect the outcome. The knowledge of patients and nurses that they are under investigation may influence their behavior during the time of the investigation. The need to give a positive image about the hospital is another extraneous variable that may result in misleading data. To control these extraneous variables, the researcher will engage participants and explain to them the importance of being truthful in the study. Nurses will be reminded that the success of this study will reduce their burden. Patients will be informed that this study may potentially save their lives hence advised to remain truthful.


The most appropriate instrument for data collection in this study is a questionnaire. It will help in ensuring that data is collected in a standardized format. According to LoBiondo-Wood and Haber (2013), it is critical for a researcher to determine the validity and reliability of an instrument of data collection to ensure that information gathered addresses the topic under investigation effectively. Using pre-established measures can help in determining the validity of the instrument. As such, the researcher will conduct a pilot test to determine the reliability and validity of the instrument. Using a smaller sample than the one that will be used in the study, the researcher will test the ability of the instrument to collect the needed information from the respondents. A Cronbach’s Alpha will also be used in the final data analysis to validate the instrument. The questionnaire will be used to conduct the survey.

Description of the Intervention

When it is established that the instrument is unable to facilitate the collection of data desirably, it will be necessary to take appropriate interventions to correct the weaknesses. The intervention plan will depend on the identified issue. The researcher may need to adjust research questions or the format of questioning to ensure that respondents remain positive throughout the study. As Boswell and Cannon (2017) warn, it is not advisable to ask questions that make respondents feel offended or pressured.

Data Collection Procedures

When the effectiveness of the instrument is established, the researcher will move to the stage of data collection. It will start by seeking permission from the management of Jackson Memorial Hospital. After getting permission, the researcher will explain to participants (nurses and patients) the importance of the study and their role in it. When they accept the request to be part of the study, a face-to-face interview will be conducted. This approach will enhance the response rate and reduce cases where participants provide misleading answers deliberately to influence the outcome of the study. Data will be collected from participants using both structured and unstructured questions to facilitate qualitative and quantitative data analysis. The researcher will also go through records of some of the patients who have required frequent readmissions to understand if their limited knowledge of the disease played a significant role in increasing the readmission rates.

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Data Analysis Plans

Data collected from participants will be analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Quantitative data analysis will enable the researcher to understand the magnitude of the problem and the significance of the relationship between each independent variable and the dependent variable. Qualitative data analysis will be used to explain the relationship. It will also be instrumental in finding ways in which the problem can be addressed.

Demographic Variables

The demographic variables will be analyzed to capture any bias that may be caused by respondents’ age, level of education, position within the company, and other factors. For instance, elderly and more experienced nurses may have greater knowledge of this topic (Boswell & Cannon, 2017). It is also important to note that nurses and patients may try to blame others for mistakes they commit. Such misleading responses can be captured by analyzing the demographic variables as captured in the questionnaire. It will enhance the validity of the questionnaire.

Study Variables

The study variables will be analyzed using descriptive statistics to understand the relationship between the dependent variable and each of the independent variables. Using SPSS software or an excel spreadsheet, it will be possible to determine if there is a significant relationship between independent variables and the dependent variable. The descriptive statistics will make it possible to understand the magnitude of the problem and how patients’ empowerment through education offered by nurses can help reduce cases of hospital readmissions among congestive heart failure patients. Inferential statistics will be used because of the inability to collect data from the entire population within that short period. As such, the information that will be collected from the sample will be used to represent the entire population.


Boswell, C., & Cannon, S. (2017). Introduction to nursing research: Incorporating evidence-based practice (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

LoBiondo-Wood, G., & Haber, J. (Ed.). (2013). Nursing research – methods and critical appraisal for evidence-based practice (8th ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier

Maltby, J., Williams, G., Mcgarry, J., & Day, L. (2013). Research methods for nursing and healthcare (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

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