Part – 1 (Assignment Worksheet Quantitative)
The title of the quantitative research study systematically attempts to explore the variables determining the performance of nursing students in NCLEX-PN licensure examination. The study variables including the test scores of nurses, their theory grades, nursing education, selective admission practices, cumulative GPA (grade point average), SAT/ACT/NLN scores and grades obtained in pre-nursing courses prove to be the preliminary factors in determining the success of nurses in NCLEX - PN examination. The evidence based research literature contends the significance of previous academic performance and examination preparation of nurses on their prospective performance in various professional evaluations (McKenzie, 2008, p. 30). Therefore, the title of the study justifiably explores the study variables and their influence on the enhancement of nursing profession.
Indeed, the abstract concisely determines the intent of research study and the deterministic factors of nurses’ success in the licensure examination. It also describes the study goals and background, and comments on the fairness of licensure examination required for elevating the quality of care and therapy rendered by the nursing professionals.
The study problem relates to evaluating the prerequisites and contributing factors attributing to the performance of nursing candidates in NCLEX – PN licensure evaluation. There is no ambiguity in the presentation of problem and it clearly describes the research goal related to evaluating the proficiency of baccalaureate graduates in terms of succeeding in nursing licensure examination.
Indeed, the research statement highlights the importance of environmental and demographic factors on the success of students following the nursing licensure examination. The vision exhibited by the problem statement highlights the prospective requirement of further exploring the influential factors while configuring the selection parameters for nursing professionals and assisting the weaker nursing students for reducing the probability of their failure in the licensure examination.
The quantitative approach begins with posing the research question and exploring its answer while systematically conducting a linear series of steps from the review of academic literature to the research evaluation (Polit & Beck, 2014, p. 49). The research problem is very much significant for nursing profession in terms of evaluating the performance of nursing candidates for reciprocally improving the quality of care and therapy rendered by them to the patients’ population. The conceptual evaluation of this research problem in the light of evidence based academic literature favours the acquisition of quantitative approach for systematically exploring the prospective solution.
Hypotheses or Research Questions
The study in question lacks a well-defined hypothesis; however intends to determine and evaluate the deterministic factors and their significant influences on the performance of nursing candidates in NCLEX – PN licensure evaluation. Indeed, the research question and its sequential findings have their implications on the prospective research studies warranted to evaluate the combinatorial influence of various academic variables, environmental fluctuations and intrinsic attributes on the performance of nursing candidates in various licensure examinations.
The research question defines the study population in terms of sample size and key study variables including the academic indicators and demographic patterns that influence the performance of nurse candidates appearing for NCLEX - PN evaluation.
The research literature review not only takes into consideration the primary resources; it rather presents the retrospective analysis of students’ records in terms of determining their SAT scores and grades while relating these findings with the success of nursing professionals in NCLEX examination. The literature review further explores the academic variables including ST scores, NT grades and CGP performances in terms of their predictive value in determining the success of nurses in the licensure evaluation. Furthermore, the meta-analysis of multiple nursing research studies intending to evaluate the success rates of baccalaureate students in relation to their NLN, SAT and ACT grades well evidenced in the literature review with reference to the research question.
The key-concepts (adequately documented in the research study) revolve around tracking the variations between admission criterions, non-conventional nature of students and licensure exam patterns, and their proportionate influence on the knowledgebase and performance of the nursing professionals in the clinical setting.
Method/ Protection of Human Rights
The research study did not intend to access the protected health information (PHI) of the participants and therefore, ethical approval from IRB not obtained in the context of safeguarding the information rights of the target population. Furthermore, no additional procedures documented for safeguarding the rights of the research subjects.
The study focuses on evaluating various data variables including demographics and academic credentials of research subjects and therefore, risks mitigation measures not practiced additionally while maximizing benefits for the study participants.
The research study corresponds to exploratory nature and utilizes the dependant variable (of NCLEX-PN exam) for assessing basic level nursing licensure and practice. Indeed, the exploratory nature of this research study relates to the limited information about the study subject in the academic literature. This research design does not precisely explore all parameters and aspects influencing the performance of nursing candidates in NCLEX – PN licensure evaluation. The contention proved by the fact that findings from this research study contradict with the findings from various other similar research studies conducted by other professionals while following the same research methodology.
Population and Sample
Indeed, the details of the study subjects provided in terms of their educational institute name, demographics and academic information. The total sample size attributing to 880, out of which sample size of 114 selected finally for evaluation (based on selection parameters).
The sampling of the study subjects performed in accordance with their academic grades, demographics and program variables. Indeed, the sampling methodology did not take into account the environmental influences, commuting distance, student support services and differences between faculty ratios across various campuses while selecting the subjects for research analysis. The sampling biases minimized with reference to the predefined variables selected for research analysis as determined from students’ databases. The sampling methodology based on random selection of study subjects in accordance with the study parameters. The total sample size was adequate; however, the final sample size minimized to a considerable extent for final evaluation.
The power analysis for evaluating the sample size performed with FILR (forward inclusion logistic regression) model while analyzing the influence of the selected thirteen variables on the performance of nurses in NCLEX-PN examination.
Data Collection and Measurement
The operational and conceptual definitions display some degree of variation validated by the findings of the research study. The inability of researchers to segregate the records of part time and full time graduates, lack of variation between curriculum and admission criteria of nursing students attribute to these variations during the study tenure.
Indeed, there is no valid justification provided for operationalization of the study variables through observations and interviews.
The study methods include the data collection from ISID (institutional student information database) and PNPC (Practical Nursing Program Chairs). Logistic regression and statistical analysis performed on the collected data for obtaining the desirable results. Indeed, from the statistical perspective the study instruments adequately relate to the sample size and tareget population.
The findings from the logistic regression analysis reveal the authenticity of data collection methods in the context of validity and reliability of the collected data.
The study intervention relates to the comparative analysis of various study variables in the context of total sample size. Furthermore, the predictive accuracy (attributing to 71.43%) of the final model describes its precision for evaluating the identifiable characteristics and their influence on the NCLEX-PN scores of the sample population. The data collected from authentic students’ databases by authorized professionals; however, the training level and qualification of staff members not descriptively elaborated in the research document.
Indeed, the analyses executed while validating each research question in the context of desirable outcomes. The p values and confidence intervals adequately evaluated with the implementation of regression analysis for measuring the study variables and undertaking comparative analysis of the study findings.
The statistical significance of the studied data adequately presented in terms of comparative analysis of nurses’ attributes and their influence on the NCLEX-PN results. The accuracy description of the results statistically identified while indicating the predictive capacity of the statistical model in the context of proposed outcomes. The findings in terms of comparative analysis (of NCLEX-PN Results) well summarized in the form of tables, as evidenced by the research document.
Discussion/Interpretation of the findings
The research report documents the variation in various study parameters leading to the sustained differences in the study findings. This is the basic reason of negating the probability of generalization of research findings, as evidenced in the research report.
The significant limitations of the research study attribute to the limited sample size and exclusion of factors (attributing to the intrinsic characteristics related to familial context, learning approaches and lifestyle patterns, and environmental considerations) while assessing the study findings.
The researchers elaborately discuss the implications of study findings on nursing fraternities and various practical nursing programs. These implications reasonably justify the requirement of prospective research studies for evaluating the influence of other excluded factors on the success of nursing professionals in NCLEX-PN certification.
Undoubtedly, the research report systematically presented to facilitate its critical analysis by the research community. The descriptive findings presented by the research report provide thorough insight to the practicing nurses in terms of understanding the influence of variable (internal and external) factors on the performance of candidates in NCLEX-PN examination.
Part – 2 (Assignment Worksheet Qualitative)
The title of the research study deals with evaluating the psychological status and quality of life of individuals undergoing VAD (ventricular support assist device) implantation, transplantation and explantation for treating the patients affected with end-stage heart failure (ESHF). The study explores the adjustment patterns of cardiac patients (affected with ESHF and undergone with various clinical interventions) while evaluating their emotional state, uncertainty and normality for developing goal oriented nursing practices with the intent of assisting these cardiac patients following the treatment interventions.
Indeed, the abstract provides clear rationale in terms of the patterns of psychological adjustment adopted by cardiac patients following the surgical interventions. The patterns of psychological adjustment reciprocally affect the quality of life of the ESHF patients, and their clinical assessment helps the nursing professionals to identify the scope of psychosocial interventions warranted for enhancing the well-being patterns of these patients through effective nursing assistance. The title configured in the context of evidence based findings indicating the effectiveness of holistic and palliative nursing interventions in treating ESHF (Friedrich & Bohm, 2007).
Introduction/Statement of the Problem
The research problem clearly states the intent of evaluating the psychological adaptability of the ESHF patients following the surgical interventions related to VAD, explantation and transplantation. Furthermore, the comparative analysis of various patients groups for delineating their adjustment patterns in the context of particular surgical intervention exemplifies the research intent in the context of the clinical question. The problem statement attempts to identify the social, physical and psychological well-being of ESHF patients during post-operative care and therapy and therefore, appropriately contends the requirement of exploration of coping strategies for enhancing the wellness patterns and quality of life of these patients following the surgical intervention. The problem is very much significant for nursing professionals as nursing strategies and approaches prove to be highly effective in enhancing the psychosomatic wellbeing and quality of life of ESHF patients (Matzo & Sherman, 2010, p. 264). Indeed, the research methods, approaches and conventions relate well with the research question and systematically evaluate the research concerns in a goal-oriented fashion.
The research question explicitly describes the intent of exploring the psychological processes utilized by ESHF patients as coping mechanisms for enhancing their adaptability following the multiple surgical outcomes.
The existing research literature elaborated in the study report describes the patterns of ESHF patients’ psychosocial adaptability, quality of life and mortality patterns following the surgical interventions (including VAD, implantation and explantation). The care rendered to these patients during the post-operative period considerably influences their coping skills for mitigating the clinical manifestations of the terminal disease. The study report describes these contentions in relation to the research question while highlighting their authenticity in the light of evidence-based literature. Indeed, the literature review presents multiple factors influencing the quality of life and wellness patterns of ESHF patients following the surgical interventions; thereby, exploring new prospects for conducting clinical trials in relation to devising coping strategies for mitigating these factors through nursing assistance.
The key concepts of the study revolve around the rationale of inducing normality patterns among ESHF patients during the postoperative stages through nursing intervention. The ideological orientation of the research subjects in terms of psychosocial differences during the postoperative period (in relation to the research question) explicitly delineated in the study document.
Method/ Protection of Participants’ Rights
Indeed, the ethical approval attained on the informed consent form prior to initiation of the study. The entire written details regarding the study provided to each participant and 24 hours timeline allocated for receiving the consent. The rights of the study subjects safeguarded with the acquisition of appropriate data collection approaches, and presentation of data in form of graphs and memos ensured the protection of important patient information. The study configured to impart benefits in terms of reducing the mortality rates of the patients affected with ESHF during the postoperative phase. The experiences of the patients evaluated while conducting interviews that indeed involved minimal risks for the target population (in the absence of any treatment or invasive intervention during the clinical trial).
Research Design and Research Tradition
The research tradition acquired while collecting data during the study relates to the grounded theory approach while utilizing B-fracturing and B-open techniques for systematic sorting and storage of important research data. This research tradition is indeed congruent with the conventional approaches for analyzing data in the context of theory generation (rather than hypothesis validation) while evaluating the stored information (Marks & Yardley, 2004, p. 75).
Sample and Setting
The sampling of the research participants performed while conducting interviews with the patients enrolled in VAD program. The sample size based on 11 research subjects pertaining to age groups between 18 – 60 years. Their educational background, cohabitation and marital status considered while registering them in the research study. The minute details of the research setting not elaborated completely, however, the selection parameters for registering the subjects in research study appropriately defined in the research document. Indeed, the sample size remains too small for deriving definitive conclusions in the context of research question. The data saturation achieved while analyzing it during the research process.
The data collection methods acquired B-fracturing and B-open approaches for sorting and grouping of the collected information. The application of grounded theory during data collection focused on comparatively analyzing the datasets in terms of instances. The combination of multiple methods for the cross validation of stored data during its analysis resulted in data triangulation in this qualitative study.
The data collection procedures follow the qualitative nature of research study and categorically store the relevant information in accordance with the study variables and conceptualizations. The cross validation techniques acquired for collecting the data reduce bias and proportionately enhance the probability of precision in the research findings in the context of data analysis. Indeed, the data collection performed within the hospital setting by trained staff; however, the training level and qualifications of staff not sufficiently documented in the research report.
Enhancement of Trustworthiness
The researchers effectively systematized the process of research study while categorically conducting interview sessions with patients of various disease groups. Furthermore, the concept oriented analysis of research data ensured the precision in study findings leading to the enhancement and integrity of study. The reflexivity of researcher thoroughly evidenced in study report in the context of systematization of research findings and description of conceptual categories in relation to the studied variables.
Indeed, the data management and analysis methods and qualitative research techniques adequately described in the research document. The patterns of normality and control effectively analysed with the acquisition of comprehensive research techniques during the study tenure.
The research findings revealed the influence on familial circumstances and behavioural adaptation on the coping strategies practiced by ESHD patients following the surgical interventions. Indeed, the cognitive construction of patients, their emotional state and thoughts regarding future, influence of VAD, level of independence following transplantation or explantation and influence of prolonged hospitalization on daily lives constitute some of the conceptual framework related to the themes that developed from the research study. The most important theme configured from the research study advocated the rationale of developing self-control among ESHD patients for attaining the state of normalcy. These themes indeed, synchronize with the data findings following the interview sessions of the research subjects. For example, the interview session of VAD patients revealed their constant fear of device failure following its implantation that adversely affected their emotional configuration. Similarly, the fluctuating thought process and emotions of transplanted patients evidenced by their unstable feelings requiring antagonization with effective psychosocial coping strategies. These themes indeed identified by the findings from data obtained from the interview sessions during the tenure of the research study.
The entire themes configured during the research study emphasize the importance of behavioural modifications and psychosocial adaptations in developing perceived control and state of normalcy among the ESHD patients following VAD, transplant and explant interventions. In this manner, they remain interconnected with each other in the context of their logical interrelation. The patient’s perceptions regarding illnesses considerably influence their quality of life and wellness patterns that reciprocally influence their state of normalization. These conceptualizations adequately summarized in research document with the effective utilization of figures and models. Furthermore, the entire themes cogently related to the conceptual framework described in the study report.
Discussion/ Interpretation of the Findings
The interpretations derived from the research study describe patients’ independence as the significant parameter utilized for assessing their perceived control and quality of life following the transplant and explant interventions. However, the VAD patients remain affected by the social, physical and psychological impact of the implanted device during the postoperative period. These interpretations indeed advocated in the context of research findings on a limited scale. The small sample size utilized in the research study proves to be the biggest limitation that reciprocally influences the interpretation and conclusions from the study findings.
The researchers describe the multifactorial influence on the wellness patterns, psychosomatic stability and quality of lives of ESHD patients affected with multiple surgical interventions. The researchers describe these findings in relation to their attribution to clinical practice that enhances the scope of conducting prospective studies on a wider scale for exploring the coping mechanisms in the context of improving the quality of lives of patients affected with cardiovascular terminal conditions. The implications of the research study reasonably provide better insight for prospectively conducting clinical trials with the intent of further exploring the influence of various psychosocial and environmental variables on the health outcomes of ESHD patients during their terminal stages.
Indeed, the research report succinctly identifies and evaluates the concerns and concepts raised through the study question and proves to be a rich resource for critical analysis by the research community. The statistical methods for analyzing the data, evaluation of findings and their systematic interpretation vividly described in study document. Furthermore, these research methods and their findings offer enough scope of their prospective analysis through clinical trials.
The study findings prove to be trustworthy as the data systematically retrieved following the interview sessions with the target population and results logically advocate their potential implications on the nursing practice. The findings from the research study evidently describe the influence of psychological perceptions of ESHD patients on their coping mechanisms, quality of life and wellness patterns following the cardiovascular surgical interventions. These findings indeed provide sufficient scope for nursing interventions with the aim of enhancing the psychosomatic profile of ESHD patients while establishing therapeutic relationship with them in the hospital environment. The thorough understanding of causative factors related to the psychosocial instability of ESHD patients could assist the nursing professionals in devising evidence based and holistic approaches for enhancing the quality of life and wellness patterns of these patients during and after the postoperative tenure in the clinical setting or community environment.
Friedrich, E.B., & Bohm, M. (2007). Management of end stage heart failure, BMJ, 93(5), pp. 626-631.
Marks, D.F., & Yardley, L. (2004). Research Methods for Clinical and Health Psychology. London: Sage.
Matzo, M.L., & Sherman, D.W. (2010). Palliative Care Nursing: Quality Care to the End of Life (3rd ed). New York: Springer.
McKenzie, B.A.B. (2008). Predictors of Academic Success in a Career-ladder Nursing Program at Hocking. USA: UMI.
Polit, D. F., & Beck, C.T. (2014). Essentials of Nursing Research: Appraising Evidence for Nursing Practice. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer|LWW.