A cross sectional mailed survey was used as the primary research design incorporated by a distinct combination of both quantitative and qualitative techniques. (Kovner, 2006)
Random sampling research strategies were adopted for this study. Precisely, the sample was selected from a population of Registered Nurses stretching across 40 Metropolitan statistical areas in 29 states. The researchers were keen on selecting a total of 1,538 registered nurses on active duty. (Kovner, 2006). From observations the sample contained representative variables of gender, ethnicity and various social factors in an effort to exclude potential biases.
1. Problem/Purpose of Study Not met Partially met Fully met NA
(a) Problem is clearly/concisely stated 1 (2) 3 4
The researchers were definite in their account stating the desire to examine factors that influence work satisfaction on a national sample of registered nurses in metropolitan statistical areas. However, where this research lacked depth is in the absence of a strong statement of the problem, specifically, outlining the nature of the phenomenon to be researched.
It can be further noted that this research document moved quickly from a brief introduction into background. In this section there were valid attempts to state a problem, offer a conceptual framework, create a hypothesis and review literature all in the same breath of scientific language. From a professional research perspective this can be regarded as inappropriate methodology.
(b) Problem is stated early in report (1) 2 3 4
Since there is no distinct subheading ‘statement of the problem’ occurring immediately after the opening preamble it would be safe for the reader to conclude that the problem was not stated early in this report even though the research purpose was mentioned during the opening synopsis. The reader is left to scrutinize whether there is a problem supporting this investigation. An insidious allusion is made to shortage of nurses in the first sentence of this report suggestive of a prevailing desire for researching nurses’ satisfaction.
(c) Research Hypothesis/ Question (1) 2 3 4
There seems to be deliberate attempts to obscure a research hypothesis and questions much more to state either explicitly. Subsequently, the reader may be entitled to pose one for his/her own clarity forging an explanation for the obvious absence. As was mentioned earlier the background section seems to be a combination of each of the segments omitted from a professionally prepared scientific research methodology document.
(d) Variables of study are 1 (2) 3 4
Concepts and variables seemed conjoined with no way to differentiate between them. Work satisfaction, nurses and work attitudes, which are really concepts, were termed key words. If keyword is used as an alternative to variable or concept for the purposes of this report then they were measured without being operationalized.
Subsequently, in the methods section of this report the words variables are mentioned for the first time when the researchers attribute to four types of variables used; RN demographic characteristic inclusive of age, sex, ethnicity to name a few. Next are the MSA characteristics, which consisted of medical, surgical and other specificities per 1,000 populations. The third set of variables was RN perception of the labor market that represented movement constraints and fourthly work setting. (Kovner, 2006).
There are no obvious definitions of them. Their implications are quite clear. RN Characteristics according to the chart are closely related to job satisfaction. However, does metropolitan statistical area define who a Registered Nurse is as determinants for this particular study are exposed?
When these parameters in determining operationalization, categorization, definition and verification are considered according to the narrative data it makes the task of deciphering precise explanations difficult. The reader has no alternative than to confirm inadequacy in comprehensively addressing operationalization of variables, definition of concepts and categorization of key terms.
11. Review of Literature Not met Partially met Fully met NA
(a) Review is organized (1) 2 3 4
This research document did not contain any review of literature. The researchers merely mentioned that there is much literature and studies on the issue, but did not organize any literature to substantiate this point of view. (Kovner, 2006).
Even though there is no review of literature section in this report the researchers did mention a theoretical position in the background. Emphatically, they quoted Price (2004) and Gurney et al. (1997) theoretical position which claimed that a variety of work- setting characteristics and attitudes towards work are associated with satisfaction, resulting in intent to leave job. (Kovner, 2006).This was aligned to supporting empirical models for transparency.
111. Method Not met Partially met Fully met N/A
Here is where the researchers developed expertise by confidently outlining how they conducted the research. There is a strong submission to both quantitative and qualitative approaches.
It would appear that the strength of this research presentation lies in a comprehensive overview of the procedures implied in its execution. One observation is an apparent confusion between method and procedure. Research Methods explain a theoretical perspective on an issue and the scientific approach towards display, interpretation, and analysis of data.
A major portion of this methodology consisted of step by step explanations of procedures which was necessary, but somehow found itself misplaced under a method subheading. In this section also variables were found swimming aimlessly in an ocean of mixed up complexities.
While the purpose of this study was mentioned initially, in the opening remarks there was no hypothesis neither research questions to guide the reader into knowing the parameters of the project. No hypothesis existed to precisely link the method in deciding whether it was appropriate or not.
From a perspective of congruency relating to the purpose there existed a high degree of compatibility. The survey methodology was advanced and maintained during administration of procedures. A cross-sectional study was projected and executed accordingly.
There are two ways to decide whether a methodology is appropriate for any research which is undertaken. First the reader assesses whether researchers used ‘the information requirement to select an appropriate research discipline and then applied the properties of the population within the study in defining the most appropriate methodology. (Sargent, 2011). There is no certainty as to whether this was acknowledged in this case.
(b) Sampling is clearly described 1 2 (3) 4
Most definitely! The sample was clearly and extensively described. Researchers explained that from the target population of all registered nurses, the defined the Metropolitan statistical areas and further sampled 78% of RNs who live there. Economic constraints restricted the sampling, however, to 40 out of 51 designated areas. (Kovner, 2006).
(c) Sampling Method Identified 1 2 (3) 4
The sampling method identified by the researchers is called randomized probability sampling, which is very appropriate for cross-sectional survey studies as this one.
(d) Subjects Rights addressed (1) 2 3 4
There are no specific interventions outlined in this report relating to obtaining written consent either from nurses themselves neither their organizations. Right to privacy policies were obviously not implemented since they are not mentioned in the research.
(e) Data Collection Techniques/ 1 2 (3) 4
This was rather precise and professionally addressed. Data collection involved administering mailed questionnaires utilizing Dillman’s seven stage strategy to ensuring return of the instrument. It began with an alert letter immediately followed by the first survey; a follow up post card, second survey, third survey, a subsequent phone call and the fourth and final survey. (Kovner, 2006).
(f) Evidence of reliability/Validity 1 (2) 3 4
Researchers did not say that these instruments were pretested to exclude any validity nor reliability errors. The assumption is that the technique in administering the instrument may support validity, especially, when applying Dillman’s seven stage strategy.
(g) Quantitative/Qualitative 1 2 (3) 4
Usually, quantitative studies allow the researcher to explain the ‘why” of a phenomenon and focuses on statistical applications in describing findings. The purpose of this study is to examine factors that influence work satisfaction on a national sample of registered nurses in metropolitan statistical areas. “Factors that influence,” answers to ‘why’ a situation occurs. In this sense there is evidence of quantitative infringements on the design. More supportively the researchers used scales to determine standard deviation, mean and median in describing their findings from this cross sectional study.
From a qualitative perspective the researchers’ use of verbal descriptions in their findings is suggestive of elements of qualitative analysis, which were not measured numerically in the attempt to present findings using numbers. For example, even though Ordinary Least Squares were applied in creating models, the researcher still resorted to explaining the outcome through quality observations rather than quantity
(f) Data Display/Analysis 1 2 (3) 4
The data was professionally displayed using Tables. Each table numerically explained findings retrieved when a particular variable was measured. Table 1 displayed the mean inclusive of standard deviation scores of the sampled studied based on the particular variable explored. Here is where the quantitative element of this research was amplified.
Precisely, the other two tables were continuous numerical interpretations. All data was thoroughly discussed in evaluating findings with clarification offered during the discussion. Application of substantial degrees of Quantitative and Qualitative analyses were prevalent.
Conclusions were definitive from the beginning. The opening paragraph explanation of the study offered conclusions and at the end of the document elaborations were made. In this discussion section attempts at justifying the sample, procedures, data analysis techniques as well as actual findings were deliberated.
(b) Presentation of tables 1 2 ( 3) 4
This report contained three tables which were professional illustrations of findings. Data was presented according to the methodology specified for this cross sectional survey model.
(c) Narrative data 1 2 ( 3 ) 4
Narrative data was consistent with themes highlighted in the research. In accounting for findings using percentages simplified the ordeal with which most quantitative studies are interpreted.
(d) Generalization of results 1 2 (3) 4
In fully meeting this criterion for generalization to adjacent populations the researchers admitted their limitation. It was not that there were any internal or external validity errors, but merely recognition that this investigation was different from all other similar studies. Due to the sample selection they were sure that generalization to adjacent populations would be impossible outside the parameters of the sample selected.
(e) Congruent discussion 1 2 (3) 4
The researchers’ discussion on RN work satisfaction was compatible with the purpose and theoretical positions advanced.
(f) Recommendations 1 2 (3) 4
This requirement was fully met since in concluding the researchers promoted further investigation into this phenomenon. Even though they were convinced that the research findings were comprehensive they admitted to excluding data, which other studies should embrace with much success.
In my opinion this research contained scientifically relevant data explicit of the international attrition of nurses popularly known as global shortage of nurses. In some instances it stayed from the conventional tenets of a truly Scientific Research Methodology, theoretically, in that there was no statement of the problem, hypothesis neither literature review.
It is still baffling to realize that all of these elements were jumbled into the background and even filtered in method as well. However, the researchers were intent on producing results to their study. As such, data collection techniques with powerful instrumentation in the end leveraged an interesting turn in the initial hilarious onset of an unusual research design.
Kovner, C. (2006). Factors Associated With Work Satisfaction of Registered Nurses. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 38(1), 71-79
Mamia, T. (n.d.) Quantitative research methods. General studies/ISSS. Retrieved April 16, 2011,