RESEARCH CRITIQUE PAPER
Article:Mee,S. (2014). Is Distance Education the Answer to Nursing Shortage? OpenJournal of Nursing4, pp 158-162. Available athttp://file.scirp.org/pdf/OJN_2014030411320300.pdf
Accordingto Maclean, et al. (2013), nursing outcomes are largely influenced bythe workforce that is available to meet the increased demand forprimary care services. The article by Mee (2014) addresses the issueof nurses’ shortage, which has had negative impacts on theprofession. The purpose of the study was to establish theeffectiveness of distance education in nurses’ training whencompared to the conventional campus-based education. In the recentpast, there has been a preference for distance learning in differentprofessions. Although it has its challenges, there are many benefitsassociated with it, and thus, the increased demand (Bozkurt, 2015).
Inthe introduction, Mee (2014) identified the significance of distanceeducation in the nursing profession. The growing diversity oflearners has resulted in a necessity to adopt learning methods thatincorporate a variety of needs. For example, the expanding demand forvirtual learning has led to the extension of distance education.Although the author mentions that it results in new learningopportunities, the assertion is not substantiated or supported byevidence. Nonetheless, the purpose of the study and its significancein the profession is clearly stated. It uses quantitative learningoutcomes to compare learning in distance education and traditionalclassroom (Mee, 2014).
Theauthor gives a brief background of the topic. The section focuses onthe statistics related to the increased demand for registered nursesin the country. It also mentions the major causes of the current andanticipated staff shortages such a “the impact of the affordablecare act, the aging of the nursing workforce and the increased lifeexpectancy for the population of baby boomers” (Mee, 2014). Thenext aspect addressed in the background section is the need toaddress the identified challenges and some of the comments andrecommendations related to nursing education. For example, the callfor expansion of the existing learning programs, and eliminatedgeographical barriers has been discussed (Mee, 2014). However, theauthor omits a literature review. A literature review is a criticalpart of a scientific research paper. It links the current knowledgeto the research question or hypothesis and authenticates the findingof the inquiry by creating a rapport and emphasizes the focus article(Parahoo, 2014).
Inthe methodology, the author discusses various aspects, which includethe study design, hypothesis, participants and the measures. Thedesign of the research is descriptive, which compared the learningoutcomes among nursing students in their first year of study. Theindependent valuables are the modes of learning (campus based ondistance learning). The dependent variables are the course outcomeswhich include “individual class participation and discussiongrades, midterm exam grades and final exams grade” (Mee, 2014). Thehypothesis of the study is that there are no variations incampus-based and distance nursing students when their learningoutcomes are compared (Mee, 2014). Another important aspect of themethodology discussed in the article is the participants. Thissection presents the characteristics of the subjects in the study,but the selection criterion is not adequately outlined. This isfollowed by a brief description of how the study was conducted. Themeasures included the evaluation of various valuables and how thedata was corrected. It is, therefore, an original study (Mee, 2014).
Thearticle states that SPSS 20 was the primary data analysis tool. Someof the descriptive statistics used include t-test and correlations.However, the details of how the data was analyzed are omitted.Similarly, the findings of the article are briefly discussed. Theyare consistent with the hypothesis since no significant difference inlearning outcomes was observed when the two groups of learners werecompared. Again, the analysis of the findings was very limited sinceonly a summary of the final data was provided (Mee, 2014).Nonetheless, they are supported by conclusions from other studies (Duet al., 2013).
Thearticle concludes that distance education in nursing can play asignificant role in countering the increased demand for nurses andother health care workers.It can also effectively deal with therising demand for more flexible learning opportunities (Mee, 2014).However, the author does not recognize the inherent challenges thatare associated with it. For example, the article does not identifythe regulatory gaps and overall quality of the programs that havebeen addressed by other studies (Lowery & Spector, 2014). Towards the end, the implications of the study and recommendationsfor future research are outlined.
Iwould use this paper in my practice. This is because it seeks toaddress a legitimate challenge that faces the nursing profession. Theincreased demand for registered nurses has resulted in a hugestaffing puzzle. The problem is also evident in other health careprofessions due to recent changes in the health care system (Mancino,2013). Distance learning can enhance the accessibility of nursingeducation and thus increase the number of students joining theprofession. Consequently, this is an important area of study thatneeds to be considered adequately in the future. The article hasseveral weaknesses. For example, the author does not provide aliterature review and gives inadequate details on the findings of thestudy. This can negatively affect its authority as well asauthenticity of the conclusion.
Bozkurt,A. et al. (2015). Trends in Distance Education Research: A ContentAnalysis of Journals 2009-2013. InternationalReview of Research in Open and Distributed Learning,16(1), 330-363.
Du,S., Liu, Z., Liu, S., Yin, H., Xu, G., Zhang, H., & Wang, A.(2013). Web-based distance learning for nurse education: A systematicreview. InternationalNursing Review,60(2), 167–177.
Lowery,B. & Spector, N. (2014). Regulatory Implications andRecommendations for Distance Education in Prelicensure NursingPrograms. Journalof Nursing Regulation,5(3), pp 24-34.
MacLean,L. et al. (2014). Scale, Causes, and Implications of the Primary CareNursing Shortage. AnnualReview of Public Health,34, pp 443-457.
Mancino,D. (2013). Recalculating: The “Nursing Shortage” Needs NewDirection. Dean`snotes,34(3), pp 1-4.
Mee,S. (2014). Is Distance Education the Answer to Nursing Shortage? OpenJournal of Nursing4, pp 158-162.
Parahoo,K. (2014). NursingResearch: Principles, Process and Issues.New York: Palgrave Macmillan.