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Qualitative and Quantitative Research: Nursing

A qualitative research is an inquiry method that has dominated in the education discipline. Studies have shown its application in social sciences with the sole rationale of comprehending the behavior depicted by humans. As opposed to other researches, it endeavors to answer the question of how and why a certain event occurs (Holloway & Wheeler, 2010). Several studies focuses on the methodology used to explain the composition of a quantitative research. Similar to qualitative research, it is also applicable in sciences when conducting investigations on social phenomena. It applies numerous statistical, as well as computational techniques in performing such investigations. Therefore, the key aim of this assignment is to compare, as well as contrast the characteristics of the two research methods.

It would be basic to examine the design strategies utilized in the two dissimilar categories of research. Literature indicates that, qualitative research studies natural events as they come about. This evidently depicts the nonexistence of predetermined events that could result to such occurrences. As a result, qualitative research occurs openly, since it fails to employ any control variables (Holloway & Wheeler, 2010). This form of research mostly employs purposeful sampling method indicating that such studies have an explicit goal in mind to accomplish. Additionally, such a sampling procedure is basic, as it is rich with the required information. Similarly, the design strategy employed in quantitative research is purposive in nature. This is because, the implementation of such a design starts by answering the query of what is to be tested, prior to the establishment of the method to use in obtaining the results.

A quantitative research design primarily utilizes random sampling techniques for information gathering needs. This type of a research design aims to test a predetermined hypothesis by using instruments such as questionnaires and interview questions. The design also utilizes experiments, or observations in its data collection. Correspondingly, qualitative data collection procedures to some extent are similar to those for quantitative research in a number of ways. Research has shown that observations, as well as interviews are useful when gathering the required data (Roy & Jones, 2006). However, despite their similarity, the observations and interviews conducted are vastly descriptive and detailed in qualitative research, since it aims to obtain fine details of the object under consideration. In obtaining quality data, the research enforces the avoidance of drawing judgments during an interview, or an observation process.

A qualitative research is extremely intensive as contrasted to quantitative research design. In enhancing its appropriateness, such a method employs an informal language in its process. This language is of significance, as it aids to clarify the issues present in the study. As a result, a qualitative research process is interactive as it engages the researcher into the entire research process. However, a quantitative research utilizes a formal language, and the researcher does not fully become engaged in the process. Additionally, a qualitative research uses a strategy that is subjective in nature. This is because such a research method endeavors to study an individual’s behavior together with their contributing factors. Conversely, a quantitative research is objective in nature. This indicates that the researcher does not fully engage in the subject matter, but remains totally separated. It only aims at making precise measurements prior to the analysis (Holloway & Wheeler, 2010).

A qualitative research directs its analysis on all the responses obtained from the data gathered. In gaining an insight on the issue under investigation, the researcher codes the results obtained prior to their interpretation. Similar to quantitative analysis method, such an analysis utilizes some programming principles in the analysis process. However, a quantitative research utilizes a number of statistical formulas in its analysis (Roy & Jones, 2006).

Thus, it is evident that a number of similarities, as well as differences exist in the two dissimilar research methods. They are both purposeful in nature, and utilize a sample that is representative. However, numerous differences occur in their designs, methodologies, and analysis. A qualitative study is skewed, as opposed to the other, which is objective.


Holloway, I., & Wheeler, S. (2010). Qualitative research in nursing and healthcare. West Sussex, PO: John Wiley and Sons.

Roy, C., & Jones, D. (2006). Nursing knowledge development and clinical practice. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.