Critical Analysis - Nursing
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Critical Analysis - Nursing


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The assessment is comprised of two parts, explained below.    

Part One: Critical Debate  

In assigned groups, during the Week 5 workshop, you will  examine a clinical practice issue and collaborate with your group  to take part in an in-class debate to determine the evidence that  could be used to find solutions to this issue. Specifically, this part  of the task asks you to use evidence and apply your knowledge of  different research approaches, to present an effective argument. 

In your teams of approximately 6, you will be assigned to one of  the four topics ('Motions') below: 

  1. Electronic medical records improve patient safety
  2. Mandated nurse-to-patient ratios improve patient safety
  3. Safety checklists in health care improve patient safety 
  4. Avoiding the use of opioids for chronic pain will improve  patient safety. 

Each team of 6 will be further divided into a 'For' and 'Against'  group of 3.  

Points to remember:  

  • Attendance and contribution to the in-class debate is  crucial to inform the second part of this assessment task.  Marks for contribution to the debate will comprise part of  the marks for this assessment (see the Criterion Reference  Assessment Sheet). 
  • In order to prepare for the in-class debate, you will be  required to collaborate with your team members to plan  your strategy and arguments for the debate.  

The in-class Critical Debate will be organized as follows: 

  1. Teams and topics will be randomly allocated by tutors in  Week 1. Teams will be further divided into groups of 3 to  either argue 'For' or 'Against' the motion.  
  2. In week 5, each team will contribute to the in-class debate  with equal time allocated for each member to speak.  

Please note: Attendance at the debate is mandatory to obtain a  mark for this assessment – it is also critical that you attend the  debate to enable completion of Part Two of Assessment 2 (see  below).  

Part Two: Written Critical Analysis (Due Week 7)  Building upon the issues discussed during the in-class debate,  write a critical analysis considering the use of different research  approaches to answer clinical questions, particular to the assigned  clinical issue. This analysis should display an understanding of  quantitative and qualitative approaches to research, contrasting  and comparing approaches and the benefits and limitations of  using particular approaches in relation to the practice issue.  

Your critical analysis should:  

  1. Provide a brief introduction to the topic debated in Part One  and the content of Part Two (50 words)  
  2. Compare and contrast quantitative and qualitative  approaches to research (400 words) 
  3. Critically analyse the contribution of quantitative and  qualitative literature to knowledge surrounding the practice  issue (550 words) 
  4. Discuss how the alternative arguments presented have influenced your thinking regarding the debate topic, what you have learnt in this assessment and the relevance to your  future nursing career (500 words)  

The assignment should be organised in the order of the sections  above, and subheadings should be utilised.  All team members are expected to present at the debate,  with equal time of 3 minutes allocated for each member to  speak. See the debate process information for further  details.


Avoiding the use of opioids for chronic pain will improve patient safety explains the harmful effects of opioids used for reducing chronic pain. This essay presents the critical analysis of avoiding opioids for chronic pain in reference to the qualitative and quantitative researches conducted in this practice area in reference to both the research methods.


Qualitative and quantitative research

Qualitative research collects data through targeted population or samples and interprets data through descriptions and responses from samples, through non-numerical calculations. Quantitative research collects measurable data through multiple choice questionnaires or checklists and measured using statistical operations. Quantitative research determines causes and correlations between variables, while qualitative research investigates the meanings, behaviour, interpretations and processes. Qualitative research is emergent, evolving, flexible, natural and holistic (Hammarberg, Kirkman, & Lacy, 2016). Quantitative research is specific, well-structured with predetermined goals and hypothesis. Qualitative research can have access to the thoughts, perceptions and feelings of the population facilitating decoding of the meaning of the experiences of the people. It identifies the number of behaviors adopted by the defined population with the reasons for such behavior. Quantitative research identifies the number of people take on a particular behavior and reasons for such behavior (Sutton & Austin, 2015). 

The three main methodologies of qualitative studies are ethnography, grounded theory and phenomenology, in which ethnography uses real life experiences, grounded theory uses face-to-face interviews and phenomenology uses the experience of human beings as their data. Further, anthropological, naturalistic approach, action research, anthropological research, descriptive approaches, feminist approaches are also the research designs of qualitative research. The methodologies of quantitative research include content analysis, case-study, descriptive studies, computer simulation, meta-analysis, observational, naturalistic observational, epidemiological investigations (Esperon, 2017) and surveys (Ponto, 2015). In quantitative studies, there is no scope for including additional experiences, observations or interviews other than the prescribed format of questionnaire. The quantitative technique uses certain questionnaires, survey forms, observations based on coding data and categorization (Esperon, 2017). The qualitative research data collection utilizes semi-structured and flexible techniques recording the respondents' expressions, thoughts, responses and opinion (Punch, 2013).

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