A comparison of survey methods in studies of the nurse workforce
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A comparison of survey methods in studies of the nurse workforce

O Ed Reitz Assistant professor, Mennonite College of Nursing, Illinois State University, United States
Mary Ann Anderson Professor emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing, United States

Aim To compare and contrast postal and internet surveys in studies of nurse workforces.

Background There is little research that examines the advantages and disadvantages of different surveys in studies of nurse workforces.

Data sources Previous studies that used different approaches to disseminate surveys.

Discussion There are advantages and disadvantages to using postal or internet surveys for nurse workforce studies.

Conclusion Factors researchers may wish to consider in selecting survey methods include research topic, costs, coverage, timing and the characteristics of potential respondents.

Implications for research/practice Response rate, data quality and adequate coverage of the population being studied can be optimised if the researcher selects an appropriate survey method.

Nurse Researcher. 20, 4, 22-27. doi: 10.7748/nr2013.

Conflict of interest

None declared

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Received: 25 October 2011

Accepted: 18 June 2012

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