Stone et al. published the article ‘Benchmarking nurse outcomes in Australian Magnet® hospitals: cross-sectional survey’ in 2019. The article intended to emphasize the significance of having publishing reports on nursing-related outcomes like good practice environment, quality nursing care as well as nursing engagement by conducting benchmarking research on Magnet® hospitals based in Australia. The authors noted that these factors are essential in achieving objectives as well as maintaining Magnet® designation (Stone et al., 2019). However, the authors stipulate that most Magnet®-designated hospitals in the United States’ nursing outcomes are published like published data but those in Australia have not been aggregated nor published (Stone et al., 2019). The authors focused on Australian Magnet® hospitals, conducted benchmarking research and obtained the results published in this article. This paper is an article critique of Stone et al. article.
The article’s research problem is benchmarking educational preparation, intent to leave, occupational burnout, work environment, as well as job satisfaction among nurses working in Magnet® hospitals in Australia and also determining the dependability of the Practice Environment Scale Australia. The author has efficiently identified and outlined the research problem. The greatest strength of the research problem is that it is clear and specific since it is targeted at nurses working in Magnet® hospitals in Australia (Stone et al., 2019). Another notable strength here is that the primary research problem is backed up by a secondary research problem which is to identify the dependability of the Practice Environment Scale- Australia. The researchers have effectively argued out that the research topic is worthwhile (Stone et al., 2019). This is evident whereby the researchers argue that it is important for Australia to replicate the United States’ criteria for assessing nurses and benchmarking Magnet® data which is important in providing a resourceful international comparison of hospitals’ performance.
The researchers have vividly shown that the problem is very big, affecting the whole of Australia. In this article, the researcher claim that the research problem is serious yet there is no evidence of how serious the topic is reinforced by the previous research. How the researchers claim that many studies have ignored the seriousness of this problem (Stone et al., 2019). The researchers have presented some reviewed literature to back up the topic but the review of literature is quite inadequate and not thoroughly done. Another strength notable in the article is that the researchers have effectively defined key variables as well as outlined the way they will be measured. This is evident whereby they mention that job satisfaction is the variable that can be measured using a 4-point Likert scale. However, the researchers failed to define what the 4-point Likert Scale is.
The research design
In the research design part, I agree that the researchers have chosen the appropriate research design. The cross-sectional multisite survey utilized by the researcher is appropriate. Moreover, another strength of the researcher’s research design is that they have used the same research design in all three Magnet® hospitals in Australia. But in the sampling part, the researchers failed to indicate the sample size and also the sample size calculations. In the part on the measures, the researchers did a good job of outlining and describing the measures of the study. The measures that the researchers indicated include demographics, nursing practice environment, occupational burnout, and also job satisfaction as well as the intention to leave (Stone et al., 2019). These measures are appropriate to the research problem. The procedure of the research is well-stipulated step by step and each step well described what needs to be done in it. This is very important in guiding the research and the researchers have done a good job by explaining the procedure of the research in detail. The research design has only been mentioned but not justified. In this part, the researchers failed to justify the research design.
In this study, the researchers opted to use a survey as a method of collecting data in all three hospitals. They chose to use Survey Monkey Inc. platforms in conducting surveys. This method has been used in several previous studies and has been always effective in collecting data (Stone et al., 2019). Therefore, the survey as a method of collecting data in this study can be considered to be reliable. The use of surveys in collecting data is evident whereby the researchers indicate that research in the United State assessing Magnet® nurse outcomes used surveys and it was reliable and effective (Stone et al., 2019). However, the researchers have not openly mentioned anything to do with the reliability and validity of the data collection method. The researchers only mentioned the data collection method they will use without considering their reliability or validity. Moreover, the researcher also failed to give a rationale for choosing the survey as a tool for data collection. This weakens the validity and reliability of the data collected. Apart from the survey, another alternative tool that could have been considered is the use of questionnaires (Kritsotakis et al., 2018). This tool can also serve the same purpose as that of the survey to collect data for the research.
Essentially in this research, a data collection instrument was needed. The researchers chose appropriate but different Survey Monkey Inc. platforms as their data collection instrument. In this research data was collected in an appropriate way that would yield greater results. Data were collected utilizing three separate Survey Monkey sites whereby all those eligible to take part were given a unique identifier code and this coding key was stored in a secured place. This addresses the issue of validity and reliability. The fact that the participants were given unique identifier keys and coding keys securely kept, proves that the data collected were valid and reliable free from manipulation. The researchers also failed to indicate their sampling method. They only mention that all eligible registered nurses were sent emails to participate in the survey. This kind suggests having used a random sampling method which several other studies have also used previously (Soh et al., 2018). This method they used, however, did not suffer from any biasness since all eligible registered nurses received emails inviting them to participate in the survey.
This research did not indicate the sample size or the exact number of people that took part in the survey which is a big weakness. Instead, it mentions that all the respondents were placed in a lucky draw to have only five respondents from every hospital (Stone et al., 2019). This will have an impact on the results of the study positively since the lucky draw does not create any biasness. The form of exclusion and inclusion was mentioned in the study. This is evident in the part that stated that only eligible registered nurses would participate in the survey. The researchers have presented the results very well and clearly. This is evident by the use of statistical data, graphs and charts to elaborate on the findings. This is essential in making the research findings sensible and realistic.
All in all, the researchers have done a good job of conducting and articulating their research findings. The researcher has demonstrated their research knowledge by following research steps until they finally obtained their results. However, there are some weaknesses in this research that they may consider to achieve greater results.