Qualitative Research for Nursing

Qualitative Research for Nursing

1. Describe Qualitative Research in evidence based practice. 2. What is the difference been qualitative and quantitative research? 3. What are the advantages and limitations of using qualitative research design?Qualitative Research for Nursing


Qualitative research involves the collection of data to answer questions regarding why and how a specific phenomenon occurs. Data collection methods in qualitative research include interviewing, observation, questionnaires, or document/photograph review. Specific rigorous techniques are used to analyze the data inductively and then the findings are organized in a way that answers the research question (Squires & Dorsen, 2018). Examples of qualitative techniques used in nursing research consist of phenomenology, grounded theory, qualitative description, and ethnography. Each qualitative method has its own purpose and assumptions and a suitable method is selected according to the research question (Thorne, 2018). For instance, the grounded theory is likely to be used when researching the process involved in a certain phenomenon while phenomenology is likely to be used when investigating the meaning of the phenomenon.Qualitative Research for Nursing


Qualitative Research in Evidence-Based Practice

The key underlying assumption in qualitative research is that reality is a social construct on an individual basis. The main objective of any qualitative research is to develop and increase understanding regarding a certain phenomenon of concern to nursing (Squires & Dorsen, 2018). Qualitative research, therefore, supports the development of the knowledge base critical for nursing practice. The findings from qualitative research are presented through the experiences, stories, and words of study participants that are then applied to nursing practice. Qualitative research enables nurses to understand the whole patient and the art of nursing practice.

Differences between Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Qualitative research is used to gain an in-depth understanding of the experiences, opinions, thoughts, and trends, as well as to dig deeper into the research problem (Thorne, 2018). On the other hand, quantitative research involves numbers and figures and thus it is utilized to quantify attitudes, opinions, behaviors, as well as other defined variables to support or refute a certain hypothesis regarding a certain phenomenon.  Common methods in qualitative research include observations, interviews, open-ended questions, and exploration of theories and concepts (Thorne, 2018). Quantitative research methods consist of experiments, surveys, observations documented as numbers, and questionnaires with close-ended questions. Data analysis in quantitative research is through statistical analysis and math while data analysis in qualitative research involves summarizing and thematic analysis (Queirós et al., 2017). Moreover, in quantitative research, the sample size is large while qualitative research only has a few respondents. Qualitative Research for Nursing

Advantages and Limitations of Using Qualitative Research Design

Qualitative research enables the understanding of core concepts and provides detail and depth by carrying out an in-depth analysis of the behaviors, feelings, and attitudes.  The design also creates openness and provides a clear insight into a specific phenomenon (Queirós et al., 2017). Moreover, qualitative research is easy to conduct as the analysis does not involve statistical analysis. The limitations associated with the qualitative research method include that the sample size is small and thus this may limit generalization of the study findings into the general population or application of the findings into practice. Moreover, it is difficult to perform systematic comparisons in qualitative research because the respondents provide diverse responses that may be highly subjective (Queirós et al., 2017). Moreover, the researcher needs to be highly skilled in terms of conducting observations, focus groups, and interviews because the findings depend on the skills of the researcher.


Queirós, A., Faria, D., & Almeida, F. (2017). Strengths and limitations of qualitative and quantitative research methods. European Journal of Education Studies, 3(9).

Squires, A., & Dorsen, C. (2018). Qualitative research in nursing and health professions regulation. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 9(3), 15-26.

Thorne S. (2018). What Can Qualitative Studies Offer in a World Where Evidence Drives Decisions? Asia-Pacific journal of oncology nursing, 5(1), 43–45. https://doi.org/10.4103/apjon.apjon_51_17

Qualitative Research for Nursing