NURS 8200 Do you think there is one type of research (quantitative or qualitative) that is inherently more rigorous than the other?

NURS 8200 Do you think there is one type of research (quantitative or qualitative) that is inherently more rigorous than the other?

NURS 8200 Discussion 1: Qualitative Research in Nursing Practice

Qualitative Research in Nursing Practice

Few qualitative studies have been done on nursing students’ perceptions and experiences of reflective practice. In the article Nursing students’ perceptions and experiences of reflective practice: A qualitative meta-synthesis, author Barbagallo (2021), suggested that quality reflection results in an improvement of practice for the nursing students. Barbagallo also theorized that “by understanding these experiences and perceptions will permit further understanding of the motivations and factors that influence the quality of reflective practice.” Reflective practice is thinking about and learning from past experiences to avoid things that did not work and to repeat things that did (Koshy et al., 2017). Nursing students can begin recording in a journal of the experiences they have encountered and detail the skills they have learned that will improve patient care. According to Koshy et al., (2017), there are different models for reflections,  and that stages of reflecting should include knowing the what, where, and who of the situation, stating your emotional state, asking the question why, determine if you could have handled the situation differently, and how would this experience change how you practice?

In the article, Barbagallo (2021), used the methodology of meta-synthesis. Meta-Synthesis or Meta-ethnography is the most commonly used qualitative synthesis approach in healthcare (Cahill et al., 2018). This method allows the researcher to bring together data from different sources to form a new theory. The research study followed the nursing students for a 10 year period, this allowed for self-discovery of barriers, and led to the student growth.

I think that quantitative research is more rigorous than qualitative research  because  quantitative data uses quantities (numbers) while qualitative data is descriptive and involves phenomenon which can be observed but not measured (McLeod, 2019). While both research methods have pros and cons, the quantitative method do not allow participants to explain their choices, and large sample sizes are needed for a more accurate analysis (McLeod, 2019).



Barbagallo, M.S. (2021). Nursing students; perceptions and experiences of reflective practice: A qualitative meta-synthesis. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, Volume 16, Issue 1, January 2021, Pages 24 – 31.

Cahill, M., Robinson, K., Pettigrew, J., Galvin, R., & Stanley, M. (2018). Qualitative synthesis: A guide to conducting a meta-ethnography. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. Volume: 81 Issue 3, Pages 129-137

Koshy, K., Limb, C., Gundogan, B., Whitehurst, K. & Jafree, D.J. (2017). Reflective practice in health care and how to reflect effectively. International Journal of Surgery Oncology (NY). 2017 Jul; 2(6): e20. doi: 10.1097/IJ900000000000020

McLeod, S. (2019). What’s the difference between qualitative and quantitative research? Simply Psychology. https://www.simply

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Thank you for a wonderful post. However, what are some of the factors influencing the use of either qualitative or quantitative method in nurses? Besides, how does the research processes help in improving the quality of nursing care delivery? The effectiveness of either the qualitative and quantitative research methods vary (Bryman, 2017). For a nursing research, it is recommended to use the quantitative method because it provides the researcher with a lot of information that helps them in understanding a wider scope of the research issue (Grove & Gray, 2018).

In your case, you focused on exploring the experiences and perceptions of the nursing students of the reflective practice. According to your selected article, there are various models of reflections and the stages of reflecting on them include the knowing what, where and when (Barbagallo, 2021). The nurses are expected to be creative and critical thinkers to understand the needs of the patients. Furthermore, there are health needs that may not be apparent during the history taking and so the healthcare providers have to probe further and develop the right answer to them.

The article used meta-analysis. The method is commonly used in clinical research; however, it has a few weaknesses that must be addressed. The meta-analysis method helps the researchers to collect data from various sources and so have a wider understanding of the clinical issue. On the other hand, it does not provide room for the participants to explain their choices. Besides, the results tend to be biased and unreliable in case a small sample size is used.

The analysis in your post provides reliable information that helps in understanding the role of the qualitative research methods in nursing practice and evidence-based practice development and implementation.


Barbagallo, M.S. (2021). Nursing students; perceptions and experiences of reflective practice: A qualitative meta-synthesis. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, Volume 16, Issue 1, January 2021, Pages 24 – 31.

Bryman, A. (2017). Quantitative and qualitative research: Further reflections on their integration. Mixing Methods: qualitative and quantitative research, 57-78.

Grove, S. K., & Gray, J. R. (2018). Understanding Nursing Research E-Book: Building an Evidence-Based Practice. Elsevier Health Sciences.



The idea of rigor, or thoroughness and scope of study, with regard to qualitative research is about controlling quality and makes a research study valid, reliable, generalized, and authentic. The methods of qualitative research outlined and recommended in this week’s Learning Resources involve data collection and analysis, recordings and notes, coding, phenomenological methods, theories, concepts, and ethnographic methods (Gray at al, 2017). The methods aim to create standards of rigor by trustworthiness.


Dessler, G., Cicolello, K., and Anandarajah, G. (2021). “Are they saying it how I’m saying it?” –  A qualitative study of language barriers and disparities in Hospice enrollment. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 61(3), 504-512.

Critical Analysis of Qualitative research:

  • The article provided an introduction, research problem, purpose, literature review, philosophical foundation/theoretical perspective, qualitative approach, sampling, data collection, protection of human rights, data management, findings, and discussion (Dessler at al, 2021) (Gray at al, 2017).
  • The strengths and weaknesses were reviewed through the research report, literature review, methods, findings, and discussion (Dessler at al, 2021) (Gray at al, 2017).
  • An evaluation of the study was done with transparency, truth, time, transformation, and transferability (Dessler at al, 2021) (Gray at al, 2017).

A research question to address the problem:

P: Nurses, patients, and family members

I: Education delivered to nurses, patients, and family members about the challenges of end-of-life care and how language barriers contribute to disparities

C: End-of-life or terminally ill patients

O: To improve the understanding of how language barriers and interpretation contribute to disparities in hospice enrollment and hospice care for patients with limited English proficiency (Dessler at al, 2021).

The study is rigorous in terms of the researchers’ efforts, the data collected, and the conclusions drawn (Dessler at al, 2021). The researchers have improved the rigor by using strategies to confirm the accuracy and logic of the findings and the findings are believable (Dessler at al, 2021).

The study’s qualitative data collection and analysis did promote rigor, provide scientific or systematic scaffolding, and generated a more thorough analysis of the research topic (Dessler at al, 2021).


Quantitative or Qualitative

According to Bradley at al (2007), “Qualitative inquiry can improve the description and explanation of complex, real-world phenomena pertinent to health services research; greater understanding of the processes of qualitative data analysis can be helpful for health services researchers as they use these methods themselves or collaborate with qualitative researchers from a wide range of disciplines (pg. 1758).”

According to Bradley at al (2007), “Qualitative research is for understanding phenomena within their context, uncovering links among concepts and behaviors, and generating and refining theory; whereas quantitative research seeks to count occurrences, establish statistical links among variables, and generalize findings to the population from which the sample was drawn (pg. 1759).”

Qualitative research shows evidence through participants’ words and stories. Quantitative research shows evidence through formal, objective variables. Quantitative research includes characteristics of numbers, formulas, statistics, generalized, objective, systematic, counting, measuring, testing, and examining variables (Gray, at al, 2017). Qualitative research includes characteristics of words, descriptions, stories, depth, not generalized, scholarly, interactive, holistic, subjective variables about a subjects life experiences, cultures or social processes (Gray, at al, 2017).

If I had to choose which type of research is more rigorous and why, I would choose qualitative research because it applies to my practice more by giving me information about health care like patient preferences, medical decision making, culturally determined values and health beliefs, consumer satisfaction, health-seeking behaviors, and health disparities (Bradley at al, 2007). I think it is useful to make generalizations and comparisons because the information will lead to critical insights to inform development, translation, and dissemination of interventions to address health system shortcomings (Bradley at al, 2007). Do I think there is one type of research that is inherently more rigorous than the other, no. But I do know that qualitative methods are less formal and more flexible.


In conclusion, as it applies to Hospice, I prefer qualitative studies over quantitative studies as they are based more on people’s perceptions of their experiences and life stories. In order to implement new interventions as far as caring, security and trustworthiness goes, I would use qualitative studies.

Ten facts about qualitative research (

Absence of “truth”, Importance of context, Importance of meaning, Researcher-as-instrument, Participant-researcher relationship, Skill set required of the researcher, Flexibility of the research design, Types of issues or questions effectively addressed by qualitative research, Contextual, multi layered analysis, Unique capabilities of on line and mobile qualitative research


Bradley, E.H., Curry, L.A., and Devers, K.J. (2007). Qualitative data analysis for health services research: Developing taxonomy, themes, and theory. Health Services Research, 42(4), 1758-1772. Doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2006.00684

Dessler, G., Cicolello, K., and Anandarajah, G. (2021). “are they saying it how I’m saying it?” – A qualitative study of language barriers and disparities in Hospice enrollment. Journal of  Pain and Symptom Management, 61(3), 504-512.

Gray, J.R., Grove, S.K., and Sutherland, S. (2017). Burns and Grove’s the practice of nursing  research: Appraisal, synthesis, and generation of evidence (9th ed.). Saunders Elsevier.