Critical Analysis of Qualitative Study

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CriticalAnalysis of Qualitative Study

CriticalAnalysis of Qualitative Study

QualitativeStudy Article

MacKusick,C &amp Minick, P. (2010). Why Are Nurses Leaving? Findings from anInitial Qualitative Study on Nursing Attrition. MEDSURGNursing,19(6), 335-340,


Aproblem statement is a critical part of a research paper. It providesa description of the problem that is being addressed by theresearcher or researchers. The problem statement set the tone of theresearch because in present the problem to be addressed. The problemstatement can be explicit where the problem is briefly described in afew sentences or a paragraph. On the other hand, the problem can beimplied. The problem statement seeks to answer the questions “whatis the problem being addressed? Who has the problem? How can be theproblem resolved? This focuses the attention of the researches onsolving the problem (Fain, 2013).

Inthe research article, the problem statement is not explicitly statedby the authors. This is because there are no identified sentences orparagraph that is labeled as problem statement. In some researcharticles, the author may include a topic or section that defines orexplains the problem statement. However, in the introductionparagraph, the audience can clearly deduce the problem that theresearch article seeks to develop a solution. The introduction beginswith a projection that “registered nurse shortage may exceed 500,000 RNs by 2025” in the United States. The authors quote otherresearch to illustrate the extent of the problem the study seeks toaddress. For example, the article quotes a study that establishedthat “an estimated 30%-40% of all new RNs elect either to changepositions or leave nursing completely within the first 3 years ofclinical practice”. Although the authors do not identify this asthe problem statement, the statement problem can be deduced from thelast two sentences. The problem that the study seeks to solveincludes perception among registered nurses which results intodecision to leave the profession (MacKusick &amp Minick, 2010).

Purposeof the study

Thepurpose of the study enables the audience of the research article toappreciate the importance of the study relative to the problemidentified. The purpose of the study identified the immediate as wellas summative purpose of the study. A standard research paper shouldhave a paragraph or a few sentences explaining the purpose of theresearch. However, the purpose of the study can also be implied. Itanswers the question of “why the research project is important”.It identifies the potential benefit the study will have in thesubject matter (Fain, 2013).

Inthe qualitative study article, the purpose of the research paper isclearly and explicitly identified. In the second paragraph, thearticle begins by “the purpose of this study is to identify thefactors influencing the decision of RNs to leave clinical nursingpractice” (MacKusick &amp Minick, 2010). This is the purpose ofthe research study. To illustrate the significance of the study, thearticle gives a brief explanation of how the study will be able tomeet this purpose.


Theresearch question or questions forms the core of the research. Thesubject matter of the study is based in the research question. Thus,the entire study will aim at answering the questions posed at thebeginning of the study. Depending on the level and type of researchstudy, the research questions can be answered through a thesisstatement or proving a hypothesis. Thus, the objectives the studyseeks to achieve are answering the research questions (Fain, 2013).

Inthis article, the research question is explicitly provided in themethodology. In some research articles, the research questions arelisted. However, this article has one research question, which is“what is the experience of RNs who leave clinical nursing?” Theinterview questions which were used in the methodology aimed atcollecting data and information that answers the research question(MacKusick &amp Minick, 2010). On the other hand, the researchquestion was based on the problem identified and the purpose of thestudy.


Aliterature review is an essential part of a research paper. Someresearch papers are based on literature review where the researcherscombine current knowledge from different primary and secondarystudies to answer the research questions. A literature review is areview of scholarly papers and other peer reviewed sources ofinformation that provides current knowledge in the field of study.The literature review may include substantive findings, theoreticalframeworks and methodologies that are relevant or have an impact onthe research questions or problem. Majority of research papers useacademic oriented sources of information as part of the literaturereview. The literature review provides the background of the researchpaper and aids in the interpretations of the findings of the currentstudy. Therefore, literature review is base on secondary data andinformation obtained in the research. The quality of the literaturereview is dependent on the quality and relevance of pieces ofliterature reviewed in the study. The primary role of a literaturereview is to define the context of the current study by linking it toother related studies (Grove, 2013).

Inthe qualitative articles, there are several ways trough which theresearchers presented their literature review. In some researcharticles, the literature review is explicitly identified as adistinctive part of the paper. In this article, the main literaturereview is contained in the background part of the paper. Thebackground begins by the researchers outlining how the review ofliterature was done and challenges they faced. For example, theauthors states that there was limited data on the nurses who haveleft clinical practice. The authors reviewed several researcharticles that relates to nurses leaving clinical practice whichincludes job dissatisfaction, aging nurses and problems in healthcare teams relationships. The literature review specifically reviewedstudies that contribute to decisions by registered nurses to leavethe nursing profession. For example, a study by Lafer (2005) wasreviewed which hypothesized thatconditions in nursing workplaces,stressors and poor remuneration contributed to decisions to leavenursing practice. Other sections of the paper also containedliterature review, although not explicit. For example, in theintroduction, the authors reviewed data from various related studiedto define the problem and purpose of the study. A literature reviewwas also used to authenticate the research methods, data collectiontechniques and the analysis of data collected. In the discussion,related studies were reviewed to verify the findings of the study. For example, studies as early as 1970s had reviewed that lack ofsupport and moral distress which affects job satisfaction wasassociated with high nurses attrition, which was supported by thecurrent study (MacKusick &amp Minick, 2010).


Conceptualframework or theoretical framework is another important aspect of aresearch paper. The problem statements in majority of research papersare contextualized using the conceptual framework. The conceptualframework identified and defines the variables as well as theirrelationships. This means that the conceptual framework sets thestage for the investigations. The conceptual framework can beexplicit or implied (Fain, 2013). In this article, the conceptual ortheoretical framework is not explicit. However, it is implied in thelast paragraph of the background section which sets the stage of theresearch.

Frameof references

Framingof sources is essential especially in the literature review. Itensures that all the sources of information are correctlyacknowledged in the text of the article. There are several waysthrough which references can be framed in a text. The references inthe article are correctly and consistently framed.


Athesis is a statement which is used to summaries the main argument ofa paper or put a premise that will be proved in the paper. Someresearch papers, especially qualitative studies do not require athesis statement. A thesis statement can also be replaced by ahypothesis. In this research article, there is not thesis statement.

Paragraphstructure and use of academic English

Thearticle has well organized paragraph structures. Additionally, thearticle uses standard and academic English. These aspects areessential because the audiences are likely to judge the quality ofthe article and research based on the paragraph structure andgrammar.

Formattingand citations

Thereare several factors that determine the formatting and citations ofthe research paper. This includes the type of study and the journalin which the article is published. Generally, the formatting is thearticle is good and meets the minimum standards of a scholarlyarticle.


Fain,J. (2013). Reading,Understanding, and Applying Nursing Research.Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company.

Grove,S. (2013). Thepractice of nursing research: appraisal, synthesis, and generation ofevidence.St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier/Saunders.

MacKusick,C &amp Minick, P. (2010). Why Are Nurses Leaving? Findings from anInitial Qualitative Study on Nursing Attrition. MEDSURGNursing,19(6), 335-340,