A nurse’s career is not only professionally challenging but also puts great demand on physical and mental resources to cope up with the continuously changing environment within a healthcare setting. A nurse practitioner is expected to comply with the orders of the physician meticulously and flawlessly as well as take appropriate decisions on her own according to the ever changing situation in a patient care setting. Expectations from a nurse are enormous, especially from the patient’s perspective. This requires discipline, punctuality; evidence based and informed decision making capability, as well as thorough professional competence in terms of theoretical and practical skills. In fact a nurse has to play the role of a physician, counselor, pharmacist, family member and psychologist all rolled into one at the same time while dealing with her patients. No doubt, this requires a high level of competence which can easily break a normal person. Issues such as satisfaction with one’s career, ability to cope up with personal and professional challenges and the question whether the nursing profession allows one to lead a happy, fulfilling life, which is the ultimate human goal, therefore need to be addressed. Nemcek (2007) and Brown (2009) have attempted to address these particular issues precisely in their quantitative and qualitative studies respectively. The former has followed a thorough and well designed approach to evaluate the three facets of life of a nursing practitioner identified by her, which she labels as the ‘ability to promote self nurturance’, ‘satisfaction with life in general’ and ‘career’ in particular. She has conducted a quantitative study to arrive at a statistically significant inference, which might serve to indicate the relationship between the three aspects she has identified as vital in nursing practice. Brown, on the other hand has attempted to conduct an incisive and precise qualitative analysis of the capabilities of established nurse leaders in comprehending the essence of self care and its vital role in allowing them to function effectively in a challenging work environment by obtaining their personal views. The framework for analysis of a research article must identify what problem is being addressed, the purpose for research in the problem area, and a gist of previous and current research on an aspect in order to arrive at a sensible and statistically valid conclusion. The theoretical framework and hypothesis should be clearly stated and the sample size selected for the study should be adequate to provide a valid result. Both studies have satisfied these criteria within the limits imposed by the apparently small sample sizes. Critical Appraisal, Paper 1 Quantitative
Critical Appraisal, Paper 2 Qualitative
The second paper by Brown, 2009 addresses the same issue as the above quantitative study by Nemcek but through a qualitative lens, by assessing the way registered nurse leaders felt about the need for self care after being exposed to a project which introduced and inculcated the importance of the sense of ‘caring-for-self’ in them. The title of the study is self explanatory as it suggests that self renewal can only be established through self care and the author’s attempt at gaining insights from the lived experience of carefully selected nursing practitioners who are themselves leaders in their specific capacities. The abstract briefly introduces the necessity for eliminating stress among nurses due to their overt vulnerability due to the high demands the profession places upon them. The research methodology has been clearly defined as a hermeneutic phenomenology which evaluated the lived experience of 10 carefully selected nurse leaders by intimate interaction with them. The abstract enumerates the findings in the form of four common themes, based on which the author has recommended the use of holistic and creative methods to reinforce self renewal among nurse leaders. The...
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