Week 8: Data Collection
The clinic in which you work has used the same brand of hand soap and sanitizer for the past 10 years. Just recently, a salesperson called the office manager at the clinic and offered a compelling price on a new brand of soaps. The new soap meets industry standards; however, the office manager is concerned that the reduced cost will also mean an inferior product. As nurses must frequently wash their hands throughout the day, having high-quality soap is very important. The office manager has asked you to determine if the new brand of soap is of a lesser quality than the soap currently used. As you do not want to make this determination alone, you decide to get the other nurses involved in the evaluation process. How would you proceed? Would you have everyone try the new product or just selected individuals? How long will they use it? How will they provide feedback? Will you have a survey or face-to-face interviews? These are all types of questions that a researcher faces when he or she begins to plan for data collection.
This week, you consider the process of data collection for both quantitative and qualitative research. You will examine the various approaches to data collection, how you can test the reliability and validity of your data, and the ethical considerations involved with collecting data.
Learning Objectives
Students will:
Evaluate data collection methods
Photo Credit: [IAN HOOTON]/[Science Photo Library]/Getty Images
Learning Resources
Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.
Required Readings
Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2017). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (10th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.
Chapter 12, “Sampling in Quantitative Research”
This chapter introduces key concepts concerning sampling in quantitative research. This includes such concepts as a description of populations, different types of sampling and their uses, and how to determine a manageable, yet sufficient number to be included in a sample. The chapter also includes suggestions for implementing a sampling plan.
Chapter 13, “Data Collection in Quantitative Research”
Once a sampling design is complete, the next step is to collect the data, and this is the focus of Chapter 13. The chapter describes how to develop a data collection plan, and provides information about the different types of instruments that can be used, such as structured observation and biophysiologic measures.
Chapter 22, “Sampling in Qualitative Research”
The focus of this chapter is on the sampling process in qualitative research. The chapter describes the different types of sampling and when they are commonly used. Sampling techniques in the three main qualitative traditions (ethnography, phenomenological studies and grounded theory studies) are highlighted.
Chapter 23, “Data Collection in Qualitative Research”
This chapter examines the process of data collection in qualitative research as well as key issues surrounding data collection. This includes such methods as self-reporting, surveys, interviews, and personal journal keeping. The chapter also highlights important considerations when utilizing unstructured observations to gather data and how to record field notes.
Keough, V. A., & Tanabe, P. (2011). Survey research: An effective design for conducting nursing research. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 1(4), 37–44. Copyright 2011 by Elsevier Science & Technology Journals. Used with permission of Elsevier Science & Technology Journals via the Copyright Clearance Center.
This text emphasizes the advantages of survey research. The authors describe the nuances of survey research projects, including their design, methods, analysis, and limitations.
Walden University. (n.d.a.). Paper templates. Retrieved July 23, 2012, from http://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/57.htm
This resource provides you access to the School of Nursing Sample Paper, which will serve as a template for formatting your papers.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2012b). Data collection. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 4 minutes.
Dr. Kristen Mauk discusses how she collected data for her DNP project in this video. She describes the details of her pre- and post-tests used to track nurses’ knowledge in a rehabilitation unit.
Accessible player
Optional Resources
Krainovich-Miller, B., Haber, J., Yost, J., & Jacobs, S. (2009). Evidence-based practice challenge: teaching critical appraisal of systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines to graduate students. Journal of Nursing Education, 48(4), 186–195.
This text emphasizes the advantages of survey research. The authors describe the nuances of survey research projects, including their design, methods, analysis, and limitations.
Horsley, T., Hyde, C., Santesso, N., Parkes, J., Milne, R., & Stewart, R. (2011). Teaching critical appraisal skills in healthcare settings. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Online), 11, Art. No.: CD001270.
Melnyk, B., Fineout-Overholt, E., & Mays, M. (2009). The evidence-based practice beliefs and implementation scales: Psychometric properties of two new instruments. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 6(1), 49.
Fawcett, J., & Garity, J. (2009). Evaluating research for evidence-based nursing. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. David Company.
Chapter 9, “Evaluation of Research Instruments and Experimental Conditions”

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