SPIRITUALITY IN NURSING IN HIGHER EDUCATION 26
Spiritualityin Nursing in Higher Education
Spiritualityin Nursing in Higher Education
Chapter3: Research Methodology
3.1 Introduction and Overview
Thisqualitative dissertation explores the phenomenon of spirituality innursing in higher education. This forms the basis for understandingthe feasibility of integrating this component into the nursingcurriculum. For this reason, the experiential knowledge andprofessional experiences of practising nurses and instructors, aswell as other participants in this profession are crucial inunderstanding the role that spirituality could play in nursingeducation. According to Yilmaz and Gurler (2014), the nursingcurriculum is one that encompasses several components that playfundamental and pivotal roles in the training of holisticpractitioners who are able to provide proper patient care in diverseclinical settings. In a bid to comprehend the issue of spiritualityand its intended role in the training of nurses, it is important toresearch how the nursing faculties of higher education institutionsthat train nurses perceive the entire subject of spirituality and itsoutcome on the nursing profession (Wordsworth, Moore & Woodhouse,2016 Yuan & Porr, 2014 Yilmaz & Gurler, 2014). Therefore,the third chapter creates a detailed description of the methodologythat has been used to collect and analyze data for this study. Thischapter is of critical importance as it forms the conduit throughwhich profound analysis, investigation, and formulation of findingsare done. The chapter also explains some of the vital ways in whichthe data is handled to reveal informed decisions about the wholecontext of analysis. Notably, the chapter describes various researchmethods used for the study with keen attention to unveiling theauthentic findings and providing informed recommendations for thesame. There are various sub sections that have been discussed in thischapter, which try to give more meaning to the research done on thespirituality in nursing in higher education. Thischapter presents the research methodology adopted during the entireduration of the study. The chapter begins by positing the researchsample. The next section gives an overview of the information needed.The section that follows is one that describes the research design.Following this, is a section that elucidates the data collectionmethods that were used to gather relevant information since itunveilssome of the profound steps taken when gathering the data.Therole of data collection techniques is well exemplified in thissection with keen attention to the notion of efficiency, accuracy,and authenticity. Adetailed description of the data analysis and synthesis techniquesthat were applied follows, whichexplains how fine-tuning was done to the data collected to reduce theadvents of discrepancies on the information brought forward.After this, the ethical considerations that were factored in areexplained in detail. Next, is a section that explicates the issues oftrustworthiness that the study considered. After that, are thelimitations and delimitations of the study, which systematicallyaccentuatethe whole research methodology process. Finally,the chapter will culminate in a summary that precisely sums up therest of the research.
Cone& Giske (2013)defined target population as the whole group of people in which aresearcher may want to generalize their findings of a particularstudy. However, it is different from the selected target group, whichis used to mean the particular cluster that the researcher used togeneralize findings. In the sample study that was conducted, thetarget group was made up of nursing faculty members at OhioUniversity. The study population that partook the process ofanswering interview questions comprised of nursing students who hadcompleted at least six clinical courses at the university, andtherefore, had a better understanding of the particular role playedby the named education in the duties of a nurse. Also, the studyincorporated both full-time and part-time tutors at the faculty ofnursing who teach either the theory or the clinical courses at theinstitution. Only a section of the intended population was taken tobe part of the process to help the researcher understand therequirements of the role that spirituality plays in moldingprofessional nurses who are dedicated to providing spiritual care topatients.
Asexplained by Barnum (2011), purposeful selection of the target groupto participate in a sample study of the range of the nursing studentsbased on their level of education plays a critical role in helpingthe researcher to understand the particular problem from the researchquestions in use. In addition to that, selecting participants basedon their level of experience, for example, having specific tutorsfrom the faculty also plays a crucial role in providing theresearcher with accurate information as required in the studyquestions (Cone & Giske, 2013).
Toachieve the purpose of the study at the sample level,the maximum variation sampling wasused.Primarily, Bennetand Thompson (2014) described the method as one that entails carefulselection of cases with deep interest by the researcher. In thatrespect, this particular study was made up of members of nursingfaculty. Their educational level and experiential knowledge in thecontext of the researcher`s interests played a critical role inposting the different levels of experience, which was crucial for thestudy. This is a strategy that Bennet and Thompson (2014) viewed tohave supported the maximum variation sample’s use in the study.
Additionally,astute selection of the participants as it was in the study ensuredthat the category of individuals taken for the survey had beenadequately represented with the sampling frame. In the same way,Bennet and Thompson (2014) have explained that purposeful selectionof the participants ensures that the researchers gain a fullunderstanding of the issues as they are embodied in the studyquestions. Therefore, in this research, the qualitative personalinterviews were conducted in a manner that the selected participantsengaged in fruitful conversations with the researcher, articulatedissues genuinely, reflected on the questions of spirituality and theway it relates to theology in nursing curriculum, and willinglyexplained how the issue affects the career of concern. The selectedparticipants also elucidated the role that re-introduction ofspirituality into the nursing curriculum will play in supportingholistic healing practices, both from their personal experienceperspective and the curriculum perception.
However,all these were conducted under informed consent of the participantsas explained by Yilmazand Gurler (2014).The authors explicated that research participants must be notified ofthe subject of the study, the purpose of the survey, the researchprocedure, and some of the potential risks that might be involved. Inaddition to that, it is within the ethical boundaries to have theparticipants informed of the benefits of participating in such formof studies, existing alternative procedures, and the rights they havein the research such as that of refusal to respond to some studyquestions. Critically, it is imperative for the researchers tounderstand that they must inform the participants of theinvestigation results and the generalization made from the researchto make the entire process ethical (Bennet & Thompson, 2014).
3.3Overview of Information Needed
Nursingis one of the fields in which the professionalism of practitionershas a profound effect on services delivery. In the nursing pedagogy,Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students are normally equippedwith evidence-based and research-based skills for providing adequatepatient care. It is for this reason that it would be useful todetermine the extent of the potential impact that spirituality couldhave on nursing. Mostof the nurses in the present world point out to under preparedness asthe primary factor to the lack of spiritual care to their patients.However, this is that way despite the fact that in the early 1930sand 1940s, religious nursing was part of the attention practice andcare offered to the patients. As explained by Coneand Giske (2013),patients always wish to have their spiritual needs well taken care ofwhile they are hospitalized. However, this does not happen in most ofthe hospitals around the country, mainly because the nurses’education does not advocate the spiritual approach to providingpatient care. If the nurses were to have the required resources andthe necessary education, then they would be positioned to address thespiritual needs of their clients. Mostly, it would help in creatingawareness of spirituality as an element of the well-being of both thenurses and the patients (Yilmaz& Gurler, 2014).Therefore, this study requires getting information related to theways of introducing a curriculum for the nursing students that willequip them with the right knowledge and philosophy needed forpracticing a spiritual care to patients in a broad range of clinicalsettings.
Technologyalso plays a critical role in the present day nursing, andtherefore, it can never be ignored while talking of the holistichealing practices. As Bennettand Thompson(2014) explained, modern day nursing curriculum has created muchemphasis on technology and has neglected spirituality and the role itplays in the life of a patient. In the past century, spirituality innursing was associated with the prolonged life of patients, a notionthat has been rendered irrelevant with the development of technologyin the healthcare sector, which can equally prolong the life of apatient (Bennett& Thompson, 2014).Advancement of technology has led to the creation of ICU machines,which have the ability to keep the heart of a human running andprolong their lives as a result. Therefore, the information needed inthis study is how the current curriculum can strike a balance betweentechnology and spirituality, both the traditional understanding ofnursing theology and its modern day understanding, as well as therelevance it has on the entire nursing fraternity around the globe.
Thisstudy utilizes the qualitative research design, which focuses more onthe investigation of the understanding of the experiences of thenursing students and their instructors. The inteprative qualitativemethod was used in this investigation to understand the points ofview of the nursing faculty and the students in equipping students totackle the spiritual needs of the patients they treat. Placing theinteprative qualitative method in its immediate context, it revolvesaround the creation of a systematic tactic to generate conceptionsand theories with a view to describing a specific phenomenon. Themain objective of the inteprative qualitative method is toinvestigate various social processes with a view of coming up with adeveloping hypothesis. The grounded theory approach is mainly used inthe realm of social sciences at the points where the occurrences aredeemed to be observable but the definite basics for the incidents areavailable. Notably, the first activity that is done under this methodis the collection of data, which surpasses the notion of theformulation of the research hypothesis and questions. The formaldesigns for the procedures for analysis entail the axial and opencoding, which are used as the analytical techniques under thismethodology.
Bloomberg,& Volpe, (2016) clarified that axial coding is the demonstrationof relating ideas and classes to each other. Pivotal coding is anunpredictable succession of both inductive and deductive reasoning toassociate a specific idea to its characteristics. Axial codingincludes making associations between "connecting" a classand its subcategories, which is a blend of inductive and deductiveconsidering (Koenig, 2011). The reason for hub coding is toreassemble broken information amid open coding. Associations betweenclasses incorporate (a) comprehension of the setting that the marvelhappened, (b) collaborations of the related phenomenon, and (c)outcomes identified with communications. Axial coding is the startingstep to depict the complex relations between properties andadditionally the different ways that instructors` appearance educatedtheir practice in setting. For information submitted to hub coding,distinguished classifications in view of created codes and theassociated code notes from the information alludes as most pertinentto the detailing of research inquiries.
Byinvestigating spirituality existence in the nursing educationalmodules from the point of view of staff and students, and as theinformation is dissected, hypotheses may develop. The researchtechnique utilized purposeful semi-structured interviews that weredirected with nursing students and workforce. The purposefulsemi-structured interviews were done by utilizing six investigativequestions for the nursing staff members and seven guiding questionsfor the BSN students. The interviews were carried out face to faceutilizing a voice-initiated computerized recorder, and afterward theprint copy was reassessed for verbatim precision of member reactions.Yilmaz and Gurler (2014) characterized subjective meeting as, "aninterview, whose reason for existing is to assemble portrayal of thelife-universe of the interviewee concerning the understanding ofsignificance of the depicted phenomena." Interviews can beexceptionally extensive and the utilization of semi-organizedinquiries can help with creating a structure for substanceexamination to advance speculation of the discoveries (Cone &Giske, 2013). Cone and Giske (2013) additionally noticed that the"subjective research meeting is in a perfect world suited toinspecting themes in which distinctive levels of importance should beinvestigated." The general result of the study was to create ahypothesis on how the nursing educational modules prepare students toaddress the profound needs of their customers in a common foundation.
Qualitative research is anapproach that is applied to answer the how’s and why’s of humanbehavior, experience, and opinion. Over the years, different scholarshave debated on the various approaches of qualitative methodology.While the debate is still acknowledged, qualitative researchers oftenchoose the named methodology for similar reasons to explore innerexperiences of participants, how meanings are formed and transformed,areas not yet thoroughly researched, and to take a holistic approachto the study of phenomena (Bennett & Thompson, 2014). Qualitativeresearch is a comprehensive method to study social phenomena.Marshall and Rossman (2016) state that “the various genres arenaturalistic, interpretive and increasingly critical they typicallydraw on multiple methods of inquiry” (p. 3). The type ofqualitative research selected for this study is interpretive.
During interpretive qualitative studies, the researcher isinterested in understanding how the research participants make ameaning of the phenomenon being investigated. Merriam (2012)described interpretative qualitative research as the construction ofmeaning. According to Merriam, Caffarella, and Baumgartner (2012),symbolic interactionism informs this type of research. Symbolicinteractionism focuses on the interpretation of human beings within acertain context of the larger society as the individual interactswith other people. Symbolic interactionism emphasizes seeing theworld through the other person’s perspective and placing oneself inthe other person’s situation (Merriam, 2011). Likewise,interpretive qualitative research emphasizes subjectivity of people’sbehaviors and realizes that individuals’ interpretations are basedon everyday experiences that have meaning for them. Meanings are notdiscovered as if they had a prior existence instead, human beingsconstruct them as they engage in and make sense of their world(Merriam, 2012). Therefore, constructivism is used interchangeablywith interpretivism (Merriam, 2011).
Interviewsare among the most familiar strategies for collecting qualitativedata. The diverse qualitative interviewing approaches in common useare developed from diverse disciplinary viewpoints that result in awide distinction among interviewing methods (DiCicco-Bloom &Crabtree, 2011). Through face-to-face interviews, one gets moredetails and information than when they use questionnaires. Inqualitative research, one gets a chance to learn more about theexperiences and behaviors of the interviewee and how some actions ledto different reactions in diverse circumstances (Kvale &Brinkmann, 2011). In some cases, an interviewer can prepare theinterview questions to fit the understanding of the subject andexperience that the interviewee has in the field. People may usethese interviews to probe the responses of the interviewee to getmore information. According to Turner (2014), the informal andflexibility nature of qualitative interviews enhance theunderstanding of the topic under research.
Themost useful interview format for conducting qualitative research isoften semi-structured. This means that the interview consists ofopen ended questions, but they are structured. Semi-structuredinterviews offer topics and questions to the participants, but arecarefully designed to elicit the participants’ ideas and opinionson the topic of interest, as opposed to leading the intervieweetowards preconceived choices (Galletta, 2013). Thisqualitative technique is used to set up interviews with theresearchers’ participants that allows for time to talk about theiropinions on the particular subject. The researcher may prompt theparticipant, rephrase the questions, and make changes according tothe interview situation (Galletta, 2013).
3.4.4The aim of the study
Thefundamental purpose of this exposition was to understand theplacement of spirituality in the context of students and faculty ofnursing. In the recent past, the entire medical fraternity has becomesubjected to secular nursing while taking less concern on the notionof wholesome spiritual development of the students and faculty. Themain aim of this research was to prove this proposition and discusson some of the best ways in which this menace can be addressed. It isa fact that while the institutions of higher learning try to put moreemphasis on the grades, the test scores, degrees, and credits,minimal emphasis is laid on the context of intrinsic development ofthe students’ beliefs, maturity, morals, values, andself-spirituality. In addressing this concern, the study isstipulated to understand the perception of both the students and thefaculty on the notion of spirituality in the curriculum and how ithelped them understand and treat their clients. As connoted by AACN,JCAHO ,and the NCSBN, spiritual nursing is expected to be a salientrequirement and not an option. Apart from investigating into theperception of the faculty on spiritual nursing, the study alsoinculcated the perceptions of the students to accentuate how thespiritual nursing affects the way in which they meet the religiousneeds of their clients.
Thereare three sets of research questions that this study addressed withkeen attention to unveiling the placement of spirituality within thenursing faculty and
To the nursing faculty and the students what is the personal and world view on the notion of spiritual nursing?
From the perspective of the nursing faculty, in what way does the secular curriculum of tending equip the senior baccalaureate nursing scholars (BSN) to meet the spiritual needs of the patients adequately?
From the perspective of the nursing students, in what way does the secular curriculum of tending equip the senior baccalaureate nursing scholars (BSN) to meet the spiritual needs of the patients adequately?
Thesethree questions formed the initial point of conducting the individualinterviews of the faculty. In a bid to accentuate these mainquestions, there are sub-questions that have been instituted to actas a guide to the interviews.
3.5Data Collection Methods
Toobtain relevant data regarding spirituality in the context of highereducation, this study utilized interviews. Specifically, the datacollection stage of the qualitative research process focused onsemi-structured interviews. The researcher interviewed members of thenursing faculty at Ohio University. Semi-structured interviews areuseful, especially in gaining first-hand information concerning theopinions of faculty members based on their experiences (Turner, 2014Palmer, Zajonc & Scribner, 2011 Marshall & Rossman, 2016).According to Marshall and Rossman (2016), these types of interviewsplay a fundamental role in gaining an in-depth understanding of theviews of the study participants. This is attributable to the reasonthat these interviews comprise structured open-ended questions thatare designed circumspectly to allow study participants to give theirgenuine opinions concerning a particular issue under investigation(Turner, 2014). The strength of this qualitative data collectionmethod lies in its capability to enable participants to understandthe questions the way they would best answer them on a particularsubject naturally. This means that both the researcher and theparticipants can make appropriate changes concerning a certainsituation. During the semi-structured interview process, theresearcher implemented a chronological sequence of interviewing theselected participants. First, the researcher prompted eachparticipant to elucidate to the best of their ability the generallink that they have observed to exist between spirituality and highereducation and the relevance of integrating the component in nursingpedagogy. This formed the basis for understanding the relevance ofspirituality in higher educational curricula. Secondly, theresearcher prompted each participant to express specific detailsconcerning the need for giving adequate attention to the innerbeliefs, values, self-understanding, spirituality, and values ofstudents and the role that such a move can have on their professionalcompetence once they get into the field. According to Astin, Astin,and Lindholm (2011), the current higher educational curricula havefailed in emphasizing students’ inner development that could impactthe quality of higher education curricula in nursing. Instead, highereducation in nursing has only focused on credits, grades, andcertifications. Thirdly, the researcher asked existential questionsthat enabled participants to contemplate their personal experiences.According to Kvale and Brinkmann (2011), this is crucial infacilitating a researcher to make sense of the study topic underinvestigation hence, understanding crucial details before analyzingthe raw data that has been obtained. Interactions were mainlyone-on-one but the researcher also utilized focus group sessions tofurther obtain information that may have eluded during the initialcommunications. Faculty members who may have been absent during theone-on-one interviews for one reason or another were the primarytarget for this second interview protocol.
Accordingto Galletta (2013), establishing a rapport between study participantsand the researcher is central in sustaining both the quality andefficacy of the semi-structured interview process. In essence, thisimplies that during the pre-interview and post-interview stages, theresearcher has to win the trust and confidence of each participant.Therefore, it was decisive for the researcher to inculcate an interimresearch culture that influenced each participant to consider thestudy as beneficial not only to the researcher but also to theparticipant. One way of doing this was to build both trust andreverence between the researcher and the participants. This was notbe easy at the initial stages of planning the interview due to thesophisticated nature of schedules of the target study participants.Study participant had busy schedules. Also, creating a suitableinterview environment was an uphill task since the researcher and theparticipants had not met before (Galletta, 2013 Turner, 2014).However, in spite of this initial impediments, the researcher gainedcandid data that is fundamental to bringing spirituality toeducational experiences that could imminently have positive impactson academic and professional performance, satisfaction with highereducational training, and an improved ability of nursing students tounderstand and interact with people of different cultures (Astin etal., 2011).
3.6Data Analysis and Synthesis
Ina bid to substantiate the findings of the study, it was crucial toanalyze the data obtained during the semi-structured interviewprocess. In their study about qualitative dissertations, Bloombergand Volpe (2016), identified a six-step data analysis procedure.First, the researcher places their personal experiences in thecontext of the study topic. This is essential in identifying anypossible bias the researcher may obliviously have that couldpotentially interfere with the quality of the study findings.Secondly, the researcher develops a list of noteworthy statementsthat participants made during the semi-structured interview process.Thirdly, the researcher organizes these statements into the samecategories that enable the identification of useful patterns andtrends. Fourthly, the researcher writes a detailed description of theframework of the interview process. Fifthly, the researcher analyzeshow and when the interview took place. This is useful in identifyingcertain patterns in the collected data. Thestudy utilized purposive sampling of data. While conducting theprocedure, the researcher mainly chose the participants based on theexperience and judgmental stance. In this regard, the participantswere selected with a view to getting a variety of ideas from them.Therefore, the study encompassed the female nursing students fromthe perspective of the senior year while making sure that they havecompleted five, theory and clinical courses. The inclusion ofeducational level as a merit for sampling accentuates the notion ofinculcation of a variety of experience in this field of science.Therefore, the specialties like the surgical/medical pediatrics,obstetrics, psychiatric nursing, community health tending, andcritical care are all included in this purposive sampling. One of themerits of this non-probabilistic method of sampling is the fact thatit considerably cuts down on costs and other expenses used indifferent sampling designs such as stratified sampling techniques.One of the categories of the purposive sampling technique that hasbeen extensively used here is the maximum variation sampling. Here,much judgmental decisions of the selection are done based on thevariety of experiences of the participants who are the students andthe faculty.
AsGorman,Clayton, Shep and Clayton, (2012) explained, theutilization of the non-probabilistic method of sampling is deemed tobe quite feasible to the investigator when obtaining the selectedparticipants. However, it should be noted that this method tends todepict the information that is deemed to be less critical in therepresentation of the whole population, thus creating an advent ofbiasness. While trying to utilize state of art exclusion andinclusion criteria, the non-probabilistic sampling technique has theeffect of giving the researcher the high level of confidence in thecreation of external authenticity of the findings on board. In thiscontext, the inclusion method for this research entailed the studentswho were senior in their nursing education. In this regard, they hadsuccessfully completed seven, theory and clinical courses at OhioUniversity nursing programs and the part-time or full-time facultywho are teaching clinical courses in the same curriculum. Theinception of the exclusion criteria for this research is on theconnotation that the
studentsand faculty members are deemed to be between the age of 22 and 60years. Evidently, those persons who do not fall under such age arenot allowed to participate in the study. With regards to thepostulation of Gorman,Clayton, Shep, and Clayton (2012),the critical selection of the participants’ attributes or those ofthe contributors of the research are adequately represented in thiscontext of the sampling realms. Additionally, the purposive selectionof the respondents has the effect of facilitating the researcher ingetting to know the context of the research question and the problemof the study as well.
Apartfrom the non-probabilistic sampling method, the study also utilizedthe purposeful convenience sampling technique. The inception of theconvenience method of sampling is seen at the point where theparticipants are deemed to be knowledgeable, reflective,articulative, and willing to talk to the investigators concerningtheir experiences in life. It is important to understand theadmission of the nursing students at Ohio University is over 220there is a pool of participants that the research can choose from,thus making this technique quite viable in such cases.
AsWolcott(2014) noted,informed assent must incorporate scientific certifications, thesubject choice process, motivation behind the study, subject matteron methodology, potential dangers and advantages, electivemethodology, pay, affirmation of secrecy, appropriate to decline orpull back from the study, offer to answer all study relatedinquiries, and the importance of the study comes about. Thesecomponents were incorporated into the education assents for theexploration consideration. For this examination contemplate, top tobottom and eye to eye meetings were directed to distinguish themembers’ encounters and sentiments identified with spiritualexistence. At the base of grounded hypothesis, "the goal is tocomprehend the marvels in their own terms to give a portrayal ofhuman encounter as it is experienced by the individual permitting thesubstance to develop" (Garner,& Scott, 2013).The objective of subjective research is to offer a viewpoint ofissues and give reports that mirror the scientist`s capacity toarchive the subsequent phenomenon. In the finished research, themarvel is the way the nursing educational modules prepare seniornursing learners in a common nursing project to address the otherworldly needs of the customer. The six to seven questions wereutilized to grow the study`s characterized research questions. Noteswere taken to gather the members` reactions additionally,sound-taping of every meeting session was done.
AsBennettand Thompson(2014) proposed,the sample size is subject to informal needs. The controllingprinciple in grounded hypothesis study is information saturation. Theanalyst can quit gathering data when there is not any more newinformation gathered from the members. The test size was reliant onthe number of students and workforce who took part. Moreover, Bennett& Thompson(2014)tended to the issue of the fitting number of members in subjectiveresearch with a scope of 15 to 25 members anticipated that would givetopical immersion. As affirmed by Bloomberg,& Volpe, (2016),in subjective research, the sample size is little because of the hugevolume of oral information to be broken down. The objective of thequestionaire was to keep on gathering information until achievingsubject saturation. Topic saturation happens when there are bunchedthoughts that develop amid information gathering (Bloomberg,& Volpe, 2016).In grounded hypothesis, the procedure for breaking down informationis named, consistent relative strategy. Utilizing this procedure, thespecialist thought about each new bit of information with dataalready broke down (Gorman,Clayton, Shep, & Clayton, 2012).In addition to much information, the analyst drew out contact withmembers.
Anaggregate of 20 senior nursing students and 16 staff members wereincorporated into this examination faction. Since the collegeconcedes 100 learners into the BSN program every fall and springsemester, there was adequate understudy investment to fulfill thefundamental research necessities (Bennett& Thompson, 2014).Additionally, there are more than 100 employees in the second biggestschool on the college grounds. In this way, there were no issues insocial occasion there were enough members for the exploration.Workforce and understudies were exceptionally keen on taking part inthe examination think about and honest in meeting the booked talkwith arrangements.
Ethicalissues are bound to arise in any research undertaking. Addressingthese ethical considerations can facilitate the sustainability of astudy. The ethical framework during the semi-structured interviewprocess was based on Creswell’s (2014) checklist. First on thelist was the contribution of the study to the higher educationnursing curriculum. Next, is the intended benefit of the project tofuture researchers. Next on the checklist is the informed participantconsent of information disclosure. Next, is the researcher’scompetence in conducting the research. Next, are the possible risksto participants. Next on the list was the honesty and mutual trustbetween each participant and the researcher. Next on the checklist isanonymity and privacy of participants, as well as the confidentialityof the information they provide. Next, was integrity and quality ofthe entire research process. Next, was intervention and advocacy.Tenth, was ownership of data, findings, and conclusions. Finally, wasthe use and misuse of results (Creswell, 2014). The researcher usedthe results professionally for the sole purpose of investigating theresearch questions.
Therewere no ethical bottlenecks during the recruitment and interviewingof participants. In terms of the integrity of the informationobtained during the study, the researcher stored the data in computerfiles, which were stored on my personal workstation and onlinepassword-protected box storage. All data obtained during theinterview process was kept confidentially. The nature of theinterview process was unpredictable due to the tendency ofinterviewees to leave before the completion of interview sessions.This is attributable to discomfort with the interview questions andthe busy nature of schedules of members of the nursing faculty.Therefore, any participant who felt uncomfortable with the interviewprocess was provided with alternative means of giving their opinionsconcerning the phenomenon under study.
3.8Issues of Trustworthiness
Evaluationof the trustworthiness of a qualitative research entails itsdependability, credibility, and transferability. According toBloomberg and Volpe (2016), this ensures that the implications of thestudy are clear to the readers. In phenomenology, individuals whohave a direct or indirect experience of an event are vital inbringing knowledge closer to the researcher. Their experiences with aphenomenon can have a profound impact on how they approach the study(Turner, 2014). Therefore, it can be challenging for any researcherto separate their own philosophical understanding of the issue underinvestigation due to the personal knowledge and experiences as aresult of having possibly examined past literature of the phenomenonunder study. Cone and Giske (2013) have indicated that thecredibility of a study faces two major threats. The first risk isresearcher bias and the second one is the researcher’s reactivity.This means that the researcher can preferentially include onlyspecific data that they perceive would bring a particular outcome.The researcher’s role as the interviewer is the key reason forreactivity. The researcher can intentionally and inadvertently leadthe participants to the directions that they recognize would bringout the particular expectations. Researches can avoid this tendencyby gaining an elaborate comprehension of how to avoid such influenceson participants at the onset of the investigation (Andrade, 2014).
Thecredibility of a research can be enhanced when the researcher hasadequate contact with the each participant. According to Galletta(2013), this can take the form of not less than three interviews.This is essential in incorporating the phenomenon of spirituality inhigher education into the nursing curriculum. To further facilitatethe credibility of the study, the research can re-consult certainparticipants to eliminate areas of uncertainty and speculation afterthe initial data collection process (Creswell, 2014). Theapplicability of the study to other contexts required the researcherto examine the data carefully. This can form the basis for furtherresearch in the area of spirituality in nursing higher education.
Accordingto Bloomberg and Volpe (2016), the dependability of a research isabout its long-term stability and consistency. Therefore, theresearcher reviewed and conducted audit trails for ascertaining thereliability and dependability of the research concerning the entireprocess. Committee members’ views had a fundamental role inascertaining the dependability of the study.
3.9Limitations and Delimitations
Anystudy experiences a broad set of limitations and delimitations thatshow the inherent weaknesses in the scope of a particular study.Addressing these limitations is crucial in reiterating the need forthe study and the implications of the findings. The first limitationduring the research was the time constraint. Most faculty members atOhio University had busy schedules, which means that the researcherhad little contact with the research participants. Moreover, theresearcher had to make repeated visits to interview nursing facultywho were absent during the first interview protocol. Another majorlimitation during the investigation arose during the process ofsifting the researcher’s experiential knowledge from the subjectunder investigation. This meant that if the researcher utilized theirinitial understanding of the subject of spirituality in the nursingpedagogy, the credibility and dependability of the research would beunder a possible jeopardy. The unwillingness of some of the studyrespondents was another key limitation of the study. At some point ofthe data collection process, some interviewees who were deemed ashaving useful input for the research were unwilling to cooperate withthe researcher in articulating their responses. To counteract thisnotion, the researcher sent informative mails to each of theparticipants with a provision for the history and relevance ofintegrating spirituality in patient care. Notably, the researcherexplicated that integrating spirituality component would indeed beginby a successful incorporation of the spirituality and its essence inthe nursing curriculum. To a significant extent, the manner in whichthe researcher addressed the subject and relevance of spiritualityresulted in some participants cooperating in the research. The finalmajor limitation of the study was the extent to which researchparticipants understood the subject of spirituality. During the finalstages of the study, there were financial constrants, whichthreatened the ability of the researcher to carry on with theinvestigation. However, the researcher sought alternative means offinancing the research process, which enabled the research to proceedto successful completion.
Theresearcher identified initial bounds for the study. Imposingconditions for the study’s scope was crucial in ascertaining thatthe research was conducted under a specific duration within certainidentifiable parameters. The researcher endeavored to conduct theresearch within the Ohio University’s
nursingfraternity.This formed the grounds for understanding how spirituality as acomponent of patient care can fit in the curricula of highereducation institutions. Conducting the study in a single setting alsoprovided vital grounds for convenience to the researcher. The studyrelied on the experiential responses of the nursing faculty andselected nursing studentsat Ohio University. Thestudy population that partook the process of answering interviewquestions entailed thenursing studentswho had completed at least six clinical courses. This was vital sincethey were deemed to have had a better understanding of the particularrole played by the nursing education in the duties of a nurse. Inaddition, the study incorporated both full-time and part-time tutorsat thefaculty of nursing who teach either the theory or the clinicalcourses at the institution. Only a section of the target participantswere taken to be part of the process to help the researcherunderstand the requirements of the role that spirituality plays inmolding professional nurses who are dedicated to providing spiritualcare to patients. Theuse of theoretical frameworks on nursing spirituality alsounderpinned the other delimitations during the study. Finally, theresearch also restriced its scope to following the recommendations ofconducting a qualitative study.
Thechapter began by restating the overall intention of the study toexplore the phenomenon of spirituality in nursing. Examining thefeasibility of spirituality in nursing could form a firm basis fordevising the mechanisms of incorporating this component in thenursing curriculum. The research utilized the semi-structuredinterview process for obtaining first-hand data from nursing facultyat Ohio Higher Education University. The second protocol forinterview involved interviewing members of nursing faculty throughfocus groups. Participants who took part in the second interviewprotocol were those who were not present at the initial stage of theinterview process. Therefore, the focus groups were important insumming up the opinions of participants who were unable to attend theinitial interview process for one reason or the other. The dataanalysis stage included purposive sampling based on Bloomberg andVolpe (2016) that identified a six-step data analysis procedure. Thissection also discussed ethical considerations for the study andissues of trustworthiness, which include reliability,transferability, and integrity of the study. The appropriateprocedures for ensuring the necessary standards have been met werediscussed. The section also explicated the limitations anddelimitations of the study.
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