Sampling Methods used in Nursing Research


Clinical research and studies usually entail patients with a particular condition or disease. The generalization and reliability of the clinical study results depend on multiple aspects relating to both the internal and external validity of the research techniques. Generalizability of the research results is primarily influenced the main methodological issue which is the sampling technique. When conducting research, a population is defined as a group of people sharing a common condition or character, especially a disease. It is complicated and challenging to do a study on the entire population and hence the necessity of applying the sampling methodology (Gerrish & Lacey, 2013). There are some sampling methods used in nursing research.

Among the various sampling methods used is the cluster sampling. This is excellent for application in populations that the researchers are unfamiliar with. It entails a random choosing of a community to study and is appropriate for use when the study does not involve a specified population or area. Capital is required in conducting research and lack of money to reach the desired communities calls for convenience sampling. It usually means the first people contacted and are willing to take part in the study. In large populations, it is difficult for every person to be sampled for the study. This, therefore, requires a random sampling technique (Knapp, 2013).

In instances where specific people are needed and are likely to have no adverse effects on the study, researcher opts for a simple random sampling of a few people from a larger population. Some populations have similar features, and the need to separate them into different groups for the practical study will require stratified sampling. There is also systematic sampling which is organized as populations are placed in order with the “kth” sample being picked. Each sampling method is applicable on any field where it best fits (Packham, 2015).


Gerrish, K., & Lacey, A. (2013). The Research Process in Nursing. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Knapp, T. (2013). Quantitative nursing research. Thousand Oaks, Calif. [u.a.]: Sage.

Packham, N. (2015). Combining Latin Hypercube Sampling With Other Variance Reduction Techniques. Wilmott, 2015(76), 60-69.

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