The purpose of the needs assessment is to identify the level of awareness of a particular issue or area of interest in a target audience. The data collected in the needs assessment process is used to justify the design of educational programs and to make them more efficient. To assess educational needs, one may use either quantitative or qualitative data collection instruments.
Qualitative methods (interview, field observation, focus group, etc.) may provide information on the relationship patterns between the studied variables, e.g., students’ attitudes and the actual state of knowledge, self-concepts, and barriers to knowledge (Keister & Grames, 2012). Qualitative data is interpretable and subjective, whereas, quantitative data is associated with a greater level of precision, accuracy, and objectivity.Nursing Education Programs and Research Practices Essay
Quantitative methods (survey, questionnaire, test, etc.) provide numerical and statistical information and are associated with a minimum risk of biasing. Both types of data collection techniques may be implemented in direct needs assessment which implies formal research aimed to gather primary data from the study sample. Such a form of assessment usually has a narrow focus and allows the evaluation of specific needs.
Conversely, an indirect needs assessment aims to examine secondary data. For this purpose, such data collection tools as a literature review may be used. By reviewing secondary findings provided in academic and professional sources, one may identify dominant trends in either the general population or a particular group. This assessment type does not require institutional approval and, therefore, it is considered more simple and less effort-consuming. Nevertheless, to receive credible results, all ethical and professional standards should be taken into account during the research.Nursing Education Programs and Research Practices Essay
The EBP process comprises five major steps: identifying practice needs and formulating a relevant question, searching for the best available evidence, critically evaluating the collected data, integrating the findings into one’s knowledge and clinical environment, and evaluating the application outcomes. This model implies a comprehensive analysis of available evidence. However, many practitioners may not have sufficient time and skills to carry it out independently. For this reason, education and administration efforts aimed to build the culture of EBP should be interrelated.Nursing Education Programs and Research Practices Essay
It is almost impossible to bring EBP at an advanced level in a setting without substantial administrative support. Administrators should consolidate desirable behavior in healthcare providers by enforcing standards of practice, providing professional training, and raising awareness of the importance and value of EBP (Fearing, Barwick, & Kimber, 2014). At the same time, a favorable practice environment should be provided. Administrators thus should remove all organizational constraints (e.g., inadequate work scheduling, lack of resources, etc.) to ensure on-going learning and EBP improvement.Nursing Education Programs and Research Practices Essay
Validity and reliability define the rigor of quantitative studies. According to Heale and Twycross (2015), the term “validity” refers to the extent of accuracy in the measurement of the problem or a concept, and the term “reliability” refers to the accuracy of the implemented instruments. There are several types of validity: content, face, construct, and criterion validity. Content validity implies that selected methods meet research purposes and allow an adequate evaluation of variables.
The second type, face validity, implies the experts’ acknowledgment of the accuracy in the selection of the instrument and its ability to measure the intended concept. Construct validity refers to cause-and-effect relationships between the variables and the overall logic of those relations. According to this measure, valid research will always be homogeneous and valid evidence will support theoretical propositions made by an author. Lastly, criterion validity can be measured by using different instruments to analyze the same variable (Heale & Twycross, 2015). Nursing Education Programs and Research Practices Essay
Reliable research will show internal consistency, stability, and equivalence. The first attribute can be measured using item-to-total correlation or split-half reliability which implies that study results are divided into parts or halves, and correlations are then calculated. Strong correlations indicate the high reliability of the instrument, and weak correlations are associated with low reliability (Heale & Twycross, 2015). Stability can be measured using test-retest, i.e., assessment of the same sample several times. And equivalence is determined by analyzing the level of agreement in more than two researchers’ opinions on the inter-rater reliability of the instrument.Nursing Education Programs and Research Practices Essay
As stated by Noble and Smith (2015), qualitative methodology is often criticized for lack of scientific rigor, sufficient justification of the implemented tools, and transparency in analytical processes. There is a risk that findings in qualitative research may merely be a collection of individual opinions associated with various biases. In qualitative research, there is no statistical instrument to measure its validity like in the case of quantitative studies. However, researchers may use different strategies to ensure the accuracy and trustworthiness of findings.
First of all, the credibility of qualitative data largely depends on researchers’ ability to critically evaluate their positions and ideas and acknowledge potential biases in sampling, data collection, analysis, and interpretation (Noble & Smith, 2015). Nursing Education Programs and Research Practices Essay