Appropriate Approaches for Research

Research Question

How do nurses who continue to practice following an episode of stress/burnout resulting in a change to a less stressful practice setting, describe their nursing performance?


Based on the research question, a qualitative approach is the most appropriate. A qualitative approach will be used as a catch-all phrase, meaning that there will be no hard numbers to be expected from the research findings. However, while the approach will entail collection and analysis of non-numerical characters primarily, there are instances where a structured approach to the research efforts will be applied. Seven steps will be utilized to help structure the research approach (qualitative) in this study. Although the seven steps may not be followed linearly or all included in the research, having them will help structure the whole project. Appropriate Approaches for Research

Steps in Qualitative Research (Chenail, 2011)

Step 1: Determining the research question (s) to study

A good research question should be clear, specific and manageable. A qualitative research question should explore the reasons why people do things or believe in something. It helps focus the study because everything cannot be investigated at once. It also shapes how the study should be conducted since different questions require different methods of inquiry. Appropriate Approaches for Research

Step 2: Doing a literature review

A literature review is a process of studying what other people have written about the research question and a particular topic. At this step, reading widely and examining other studies that relate to the topic is advisable. From these studies, an analytical report that synthesizes and integrates the existing research is drawn up.

Step 3: Evaluating whether qualitative research is the best for to answer the research question

Qualitative methods are used when research questions cannot be answered by a simple yes or no hypothesis. Qualitative research answers the questions “how” or “what”. Therefore, a qualitative approach will be considered if the formulated research question is a “how” and “what” question.

Step 4: considering the ideal sampling size

Qualitative research does not rely heavily on large sample sizes like its counterpart quantitative study. But it still yields important insights and findings. The possible outcomes of the study should be considered because qualitative methodologies are broad. The research budget should also be considered because qualitative research studies are cheaper and easier to plan and execute. Appropriate Approaches for Research

Step 5: Choosing a qualitative research methodology

The design of qualitative research is very flexible of all the experimental techniques. Among the acceptable techniques that can be chosen include action research, ethnography, phenomenology, grounded theory and case study.

Step 6: Determining the data collection technique

Each of the five methodologies (action research, ethnography, phenomenology, grounded theory and case study) utilizes one or more techniques of empirical data collection. They include interviews, archival research, surveys, participant observation, documentary materials, fieldwork etc.

Step 7: Analyzing data

At this step, the data collected is analyzed to come up with answers and theories for the research question. The most common qualitative data analysis methods are narrative analysis, grounded theory, qualitative content analysis, discourse analysis and interpretive phenomenological analysis.

Step 8: Writing up the research

When a qualitative research report is being prepared, the audience for whom it’s being written, and the formatting guidelines for the research. The purpose of the research question should be compelling. Also, the research methodology and analysis should be explained thoroughly.

The Study Design

The research question for the study seeks to get an opinion from nurses who have experienced stress/burnout and how it affected their performance compared to when working normally. Considering the expected outcomes of the research, the phenomenological approach is the best study design for the research. This is because its focus will lead to the achievement of the study (Worthington, 2013). A phenomenological approach to qualitative research focuses on the commonality of the lived experience within a particular group. The main goal of this design is to describe the nature of a particular phenomenon or experience. Interviews are conducted within a group of people with first-hand knowledge of an event, experience or situation to obtain answers that answer the broad question “what is your experience in terms of the phenomenon”

Sample Type and Data Collection

A simple random sampling will be used in the study. In this sample type, every member of the population will have an equal chance of being selected. A tool known as a random number generator will be used. The selection of this sample type was based on its advantages such as the lack of bias (Acharya et al., 2013). Considering that the people making up the subset of the larger group will be chosen randomly, each individual will have an equal chance of being selected. This will create a balanced subset that carries the greatest potential for representing the larger group. It is also a simple method compared to other methods such as stratified random sampling.

Interviews will be used for data collection. This is because of the small group of subjects to be considered in the research. Both structured and unstructured interviews will be utilized (Englander, 2012).  A structured interview will have the same questions in the same order for each subject and multiple choice answers while for unstructured interviews, questions will differ per subject depending on answers given on previous questions.

Statistics for Quantitative Approach

The stress level of participants will be determined using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and the mean for the values obtained calculated to determine the average level of stress that interferes with the performance of nurses (Vallejo et al., 2018)


Acharya, A. S., Prakash, A., Saxena, P., & Nigam, A. (2013). Sampling: Why and how of            it. Indian Journal of Medical Specialties4(2), 330-333.

Chenail, R. J. (2011). Ten Steps for Conceptualizing and Conducting Qualitative Research           Studies in a Pragmatically Curious Manner. Qualitative Report16(6), 1713-1730.

Englander, M. (2012). The interview: Data collection in descriptive phenomenological human     scientific research. Journal of phenomenological psychology43(1), 13-35.

Vallejo, M. A., Vallejo-Slocker, L., Fernández-Abascal, E. G., & Mañanes, G. (2018).      Determining factors for stress perception assessed with the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-            4) in Spanish and other European samples. Frontiers in psychology9, 37.

Worthington, M. (2013). Differences between phenomenological research and a basic qualitative             research design. Retrieved from1149861.