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The purpose of the current paper is to identify the methodological research approach and the evidence-based model that will be used in the DNP project. The paper also presents the reasons why the methodology is selected. For this project, qualitative approach will be used because of the flexibility of collecting data and the fact that it is easier to carry out an exploration survey of the phenomenon. The Three-Category Sandelowski and Barroso Continuum Model will be used to support the research and project outcomes.
Key words: qualitative research, continuum model, sampling, participants
Nursing in research must be premised on a solid methodology that helps to address the objectives of the research (Miller, 2010). This DNP project intends to evaluate the role nurses and education programs play in educating women in preconception period. The subject of the project is women who are in their preconception period. Nurses and education programs also form an important part of the project. For this reason, the methodology selected for the project implementation must capture vital information which can lead to generation of new knowledge about the role that nurses can play and the function of education programs to enlighten women about their health during preconception period. The current paper discusses the research design selected to explore the question at hand, gives reasons why the design is chosen, and identifies the evidence-based model used for the purposes of this project.
The methodology selected for the DNP project is qualitative research. According to Miller (2010), qualitative research is increasingly being used in nursing research as a method to develop knowledge and evidence-based practice. Qualitative research is preferred for special nursing research over quantitative research because of its flexibility and easier usage. Miller (2010) noted that a qualitative approach involves the investigation of primary claims about a penomenon with the purpose of developing new knowledge about it. By developing new knowledge, it means that the research must investigate the cause and effect, reduce the hypothesis and questions to specific variables, and apply measurement and observation using the theories to come up with findings (Speziale & Carpenter, 2007). The subject of the DNP project is to evaluate the role of nurses and education programs in educating women in preconception period. Thus, it provides an opportunity to apply the characteristics contained in qualitative research which include using theories and models found in literature.
Why Qualitative Approach
The methodology is selected for a number of reasons. First, there is overwhelming evidence in literature that qualitative research is the most preferred methodology in nursing. As nurses are not mathematicians but humanists who address health-related problems, the limited use of figures and formulas to analyze statistics is preferred for this project (Malloch & Porter-O'Grady, 2010). The selected methodology also provides room for exploration of the phenomenon under investigation. The project seeks to investigate the roles of nurses and education programs and these can be explored abstractly through research without much emphasis on empirical study. Sampling of the participants is also small, which means that the population can be effectively investigated (Keele, 2010). Quantitative research methodology requires a large sample. The methodology is also preferred because of its flexibility in data collection tools where semi-structured methods, focus groups, participant observation, and in-depth interviews can be used (Polit & Tatano, 2008).
Evidence-based Practice Model
In this project, the Sandelowski and Barroso continuum model will be used. This model has three categories located side by side. The first category of items is located far-left of the continuum and denote no finding. In this category, the items included will be those that show that nurses and education programs have no role to play in educating women in preconception period. The middle categgory in this model includes items on topical survey which may fall outside the topic of the project. For instance, some participants may not even be aware that nurses and education programs are essential in their preconception period. The last category has sub-categories on thematic survey, interpretive explanation, and conceptual or thematic description. Each of these sub-categories will show how nurses and education programs contribute to education of women in preconception period. This model is chosen because of its descriptive nature as it helps to determine which findings are essential for evidence practice in educating women in preconception period (Sandelowski & Barroso, 2002).