Topic 3 DQ 2

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Sampling theory was developed to determine the most effective way to acquire a sample that accurately reflects the population under study (Grove, Gray, & Burns, 2015, p. 249). Some examples of sampling theory include populations, target population, sampling or eligibility criteria, accessible population, elements, representativeness, sampling frames, and sampling plans or methods (Grove et al., 2015, p. 249). A sampling plan or method outlines tactics used to obtain a sample for a study, but a sampling plan is not specific to a study. The plan is designed to increase representation and decrease bias. The sampling plan may use random or nonrandom sampling methods. When critiquing a study, identify the study sampling plan as either probable or nonprobable, and determine the specific method used to select a sample. Theoretical sampling is sampling in which data are gathered from any individual study participant or group that can provide relevant information for theory generation (Grove et al., 2015, p. 273). It is used in qualitative research to develop a selected theory through the research process.

The three main points to look for to answer the research question is research design, populations, and setting (Grove et al., 2015, p. 249). These components inform nurses if findings will be relevant to their practice. Nurses can be consumers of research, being able to critique the theory that is being tested, determine if the design is appropriate to answer the question and decide if the sample supports generality, adds to knowledge and depth of research. Nurses determine when the research can be applied to their practice, by being able to assess these components and be able to apply them to their practice and setting.


Grove, S., Gray, J., & Burns, N. (2015). Understanding nursing research (6th ed.). St. Louise, MO: Elsevier Saunders.

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