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A Qualitative Critique: Rural Nursing

Van Hofwegen, L., Kirkham, S., & Harwood, C. (2005). The strength of rural nursing: implications for undergraduate nursing education. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 2(1), doi:10.2202/1548-923X.1142

Your qualitative research critique requires an in-depth analysis using the following questions:

- Are the subjects obtained using a method consistent with the qualitative methodology?
- Is the setting appropriate for the study?
- Are the data collection methods consistent with the purpose of the qualitative approach?
- Are the rights of human subjects protected?

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In 'The strength of rural nursing: implications for undergraduate nursing education', Van Hofwegen, Kirkham, and Harwood (2005) presented the results of a qualitative study drawn from data gathered for a larger project about student learning opportunities in alternative educational settings. The purpose of the rural nursing study was to examine student learning opportunities for community health nursing in a rural clinical placement. For this study, a public health unit and a continuing care home care unit were chosen. These units were responsible for an area of 100 km with approximately 6800 individuals including several aboriginal communities with a three-hour drive from a large city.

In the literature review section, the authors defined rural communities as "greater than 80 kilometers (km) from a major regional hospital and have a population of less than 10,000" (p. 1). However, the authors failed to mention the source of this definition and if the definition used was the customary one for this type of research. There are multiple definitions of the word "rural" based on the purpose of the activity, such as an administrative concept, a land-use concept, or an economic concept (Cromatie & Bucholtz, 2008, para. 5). Definitions used on research should be based on those accepted as standards established by government, in other similar research protocols, or in research covering the same topic. Usually, the definition of the urban area is done first leaving the concept of rural to the area that was not included in this definition (Cromatie & Bucholtz, 2008).

Statistics in Canada stated that the Statistics Canada's Census of Population defined rural as the" population outside settlements ...

Solution Summary

The solution involves an analysis of a qualitative research published by L. Van Hofwegen, S. Kirkham, and C. Harwood in 2005 called "The strength of rural nursing: implications for undergraduate nursing education". It compares the goals, methodology, and findings in the study with established practice for qualitative research, discussing possible areas of errors, bias and improvement.