Background Recruitment and retention of participants, as well as response rates, can be challenging in nursing research. This can be because of the questions asked; the choice of methodology; the methods used to collect data; the characteristics of potential participants; the sample size required; and the duration of the study. Additionally, conducting research with nurses as participants presents several issues for them, including the time needed to participate in the research, the competing commitments for clinical practice, the political and environmental climate, and recruitment itself.
Aim To report on research studies conducted by the authors at a tertiary teaching hospital, to show the lessons learned when recruiting nurses to participate in nursing research.
Discussion The authors discuss factors that supported recruitment of nurses in these studies, including the use of the personal touch and multiple recruitment strategies in a single study.
Conclusion Videos and photography facilitate interdisciplinary research and can be a valuable means of non-verbal data collection, especially with participants affected by disabilities, and can support research methods, such as the use of questionnaires.
Implications for practice Recruiting nurses for research can be challenging. We suggest that researchers consider using more than one recruitment strategy when recruiting nurse participants. Recruitment is more successful if researchers align the aim(s) of the research with nurse’s concerns and contexts.
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