What establishes an excellent nurse?

Academic Paper, 2019

15 Pages, Grade: A


Table of Contents


Purpose of the Study

Study Design

Methods Used

Data Collection
- Descriptive Clarity
- Procedural Rigour

Data Analyses
- Analytical Rigour
- Auditability

Theoretical Connections

Ethical Considerations




Research is the most important component in almost all professions. In healthcare and nursing, evidence-based practice is the new mantra in these professions. That is, clinicians and nurses are increasingly designing interventions based on the latest research findings. Research has also led to more effective and efficient health care systems (Nowrouzi et al., 2015). However, for the research findings to be applicable in practice, they must be accurate, valid, and reliable. Furthermore, the research should offer the most concise and objective solution to the problem it was intended to solve or a related problem. In this essay, the author used McMaster qualitative framework to evaluate Paans, Robbe, Wijkamp, and Wolfensberger (2017) article “What establishes an excellent nurse? A focus group and Delphi panel approach”. This approach is used as it helps in the filtering of low-quality studies and eliminates misleading information (Lett et al., 2019).

Purpose of the Study

The article title provides a clear explanation of the research while also remaining short and concise. The title informs the reader what the article is all about using a question, thus making the reader even more interested to find answers; that is, it is about finding answers to the question: What establishes an excellent nurse? The goal of Paans et al. (2017) study was to determine nurses’ perspectives regarding characteristics associated with an excellent nurse in order to elicit a conceptual profile. The researchers, therefore, conducted a qualitative study to examine characteristics that differentiate an excellent nurse from others (Paans et al., 2017). The study investigated what experienced nurses considered as the best nursing practices and behavioral aspects that can assist in the development of a framework that can act as a guide to talented nursing students to enhance their professional excellence and satisfy the expectations of professionals in the clinical nursing environments.

In the background section of the article, the authors clearly identify the research gap that this study intends to fill. That is, the researchers reviews various studies that have been conducted on the topic or related issue, past beliefs, and expectations of nursing professionals (Paans et al., 2017). The authors use the results and discussions of past studies to illustrate what is missing and what needs to be answered. In this case, the reader is drawn into an objective discussion with the researchers and compares their perceptions with the past studies and develops an interest in what the researchers will find. After extensive background information, the reader is able to clearly understand what the researchers were setting out to find thus making the article more focused (Savin-Baden and Major, 2013).

In the background, the researchers are also able to clearly identify the relevance of the study and why it is required. For instance, the study highlights the ambiguity of the existing frameworks used to guide nursing students to become excellent nurses. In addition, the authors highlight the need for the development of a new nursing excellence framework that will eliminate the existing ambiguities (Paans et al., 2017). The background also helps the reader in understanding the concepts behind the study, thus making the study aims more credible. The background information also indicates that the topic has been relatively researched thus assisting in the development of effective research methods and aims (Savin-Baden and Major, 2013).

Study Design

The research uses a grounded theory design. Grounded theory is mainly used in the development of theories, which can be applied in practice (Ralph, Birks and Chapman, 2014). Given the goal of this study, the grounded theory is the most desirable method that can be adopted. The article is well structured thus making research design easily recognizable and easy to read and follow. Though the researcher does not openly state that grounded theory has been used, the data collection and analysis procedures leave no doubts that it was the design applied in this study. Furthermore, the study objective is consistent with the main purpose of grounded theory designs, which is to construct theories which can be used in real life situations (Salvador, 2016). Though this study does not create a new theory, it helps to enhance the existing theories and guidelines on nursing ethics and professionalism.

Since the use of grounded theory in this study is not clearly stated, it is difficult to determine whether it has been applied correctly. For some, it may appear to have been correctly applied as the researchers used current research to guide the study. Whether it was applied correctly or not, what is clear is that the researchers failed to explain how this research design was integrated into the research. The researchers also failed to explain how the method was arrived at. The authors should have clearly explained these issues to help the reader understand how the research question related to the data collection and analysis methods (Lett et al., 2019).

Methods Used

This study used qualitative methods. This method is deemed appropriate for this research as the researchers’ goal was to highlight the attitudes, experiences, and emotions of experienced nurses regarding the issue of nursing excellence. The research does not need the use of statistics as it focuses on the participants’ views and subjective experiences around the study topic. Just like in this study, qualitative research explores the essence of social phenomena and affording people an opportunity to understand what they do and why they do it (Pourvakhshoori et al., 2017). In this qualitative research, the researchers employed focus group discussions method to collect data from the participants to assess the experienced nurses’ perspectives and opinions on what constitutes nurses’ competences and what distinguishes from an excellent nurse. The group discussions were selected as it could expose information, which could have been ignored if individual surveys and interviews are conducted.

Basically, a focus group is made of 10 or more volunteers to a research project or discussion of an idea or solution (Mandel and DeJoy, 2016). During focus group discussions, the researcher asks questions at the group so as to elicit discussions on the issue being discussed. These discussions allow participants to freely share their opinions, ideas, and reactions. Focus group discussions is preferred for this type of study as it allows for more in-depth information to be collected within a very short period of time. The condensed nature of focus groups makes it easier for the researchers to solicit a good quantity of information and feedback on multiple aspects of the issue being discussed. Nonetheless, focus group discussions can easily suffer from moderator biases (Moghaddam et al., 2018). These discussions make it easier for the moderator to insert their personal opinions or biases into the participants’ exchange of ideas. These biases can easily lead to inaccurate results, wrong assumptions, and conclusions. In this study, the researchers did not explain how they intend to address moderator biases and if the existence of such biases may influence the results or conclusions from the study. The existence of high levels of personal biases from both moderator and the participants is the main disadvantage of the qualitative research method (Savin-Baden and Major, 2013).


Given that this study is only interested in the opinions, views and perceptions of experienced nurses, a non-probability sampling technique where the researchers only reach the experienced nurses was appropriate for the study (Etikan, 2016). Snowball sampling technique is one of the non-probability sampling techniques that can be used in this study. In this case, participants in this study were selected using a non-probability snowball sampling with no incentives. The participants in focus groups reside in the Netherlands and were selected by remitting e-mails to members of the university nursing network within a hospital and mental health care facility via snowball sampling. The focus group settings included three focus groups with clinical hospital nurses, and three focus groups with nurses employed in mental health care (Paans et al., 2017). Although this method was convenient for the researchers, it can sometimes lead to respondents who are not appropriate for the particular study. In order to get enriched data, the researchers included nurses from different wards and health care institutions with a variety of background experiences and specialties within the segmented groups. This led to dynamic discussion sessions resulting in the gathering of a great diversity of perceptions and opinions. In this sampling technique, the sample grew until the researchers had gathered enough data in relation to the study (Petrou et al., 2017). This method is selected for this study as it allows the researchers to locate hidden populations and people within specific populations. Unlike other methods, snowball sampling does not require complex planning and staffing is usually low (Etikan, 2016).


Excerpt out of 15 pages


What establishes an excellent nurse?
Kenyatta University
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ISBN (Book)
Quote paper
Difrine Madara (Author), 2019, What establishes an excellent nurse?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/505703


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