Journal of Advanced Nursing

Cover image for Vol. 71 Issue 3

Edited By: Editor-in-Chief: Roger Watson; Editors: Mark Hayter, Jane Noyes, Lin Perry, Rita Pickler & Brenda Roe

Impact Factor: 1.685

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 18/105 (Nursing (Social Science)); 19/107 (Nursing (Science))

Online ISSN: 1365-2648

Empirical research - mixed methods

Last updated: January 2015

Papers submitted to JAN should not exceed 5000 words for the main text, including quotations but excluding the abstract, summary statement, tables and references.

Organising your paper:

Separate files to be created and uploaded onto ScholarOne Manuscripts:

Title page file:
Your title page should include the following information:
• Full title (maximum 25 words)
• Running head
• Author details: names (please put last names in CAPITALS), job titles and affiliations (maximum of 3 per author), qualifications (maximum of 3 per author, including RN/RM where appropriate)
• Acknowledgements (if applicable)
Conflict of Interest statement
Funding Statement

Impact Statement
We ask all authors to prepare a short statement (approximately 100 words), using bullet points if necessary, on any impact you see your paper having in terms of patients, clinical practice, education, or wider social and economic issues. This will be seen by editors and reviewers and may be used for promotional purposes.

Main file, to include:
250 words. Your abstract should include the following headings: Aims (of the paper), Background, Design, Methods (including year of data collection), Results/Findings, Conclusion. The abstract should not contain abbreviations or detailed statistics. The Aim should simply state: ‘To…
Summary Statement: See the Summary Statement guidelines.
Keywords: A maximum of 10, including nurses/midwives/nursing.
Main Text: To include the headings below and references.

Tables and figures should be uploaded separately

The main text of your paper should include the following headings:

Clearly identify the rationale, context, international relevance of topic.

Present the conceptual or theoretical framework that guided the study, identifying and providing an overview of the conceptual model and/or theory. Identify and define key concepts or study variables. Explain the connections between the conceptual model or theory and the study variables. Explain connections between study variables and support those connections with relevant theoretical and empirical literature.

Provide a critical review of relevant theoretical and empirical literature, which should draw conclusions from the theoretical framework and current evidence, and support the need for a mixed methods study.


State the aims of the study as a narrative study purpose or as research questions or hypotheses to be tested. For example, ‘The aim of the study was to…’, ‘The following hypotheses were tested:…’

Identify the specific mixed method research design used, i.e., primarily qualitative with a quantitative component, or primarily quantitative with a qualitative component. Also identify the specific quantitative and qualitative approaches.

Identify the sampling strategy/strategies used for the qualitative and quantitative components of the study – random, stratified, convenience, purposive (state what purpose). For example, ‘A theoretical sample of Registered Nurses was recruited for the qualitative component of the study and a random sample of Registered Nurses was recruited for the quantitative component…’ Identify the inclusion and exclusion criteria. For example, ‘The inclusion criteria were…’, ‘The exclusion criteria were…’ Explain how participants were recruited. Identify the size of the sample. For the qualitative component of the study, provide justification for participant numbers that addresses data saturation or another criterion. For the quantitative component of the study, report the power analysis or sample size calculation, if done; if not done, provide another type of justification for the sample size.

Data collection
Use subheadings for different types of data collection techniques if appropriate, e.g. questionnaires, interview guides, observation checklists. For example, ‘Data were collected using a questionnaire…’, ‘Focus groups were conducted …’ Describe each technique used to collect the data, such as interview guide questions, or observation checklist items. Include information about number and type of items and scoring technique, as well as interpretation of scores, if relevant. Pilot study – if done, what changes (if any) did this lead to for the main study?. Identify the period of data collection; usually this should be no more than 5 years before submission of the paper.

Ethical considerations
Identify any particular ethical issues that were attached to this research. Provide a statement of ethics committee approval. Do not name the university or other institution from which ethics committee approval was obtained. State only that ethics committee approval was obtained from a university and/or whatever other organisation is relevant. Explain any other approvals obtained, for example, local site arrangements to meet research governance requirements. If, according to local regulations, no formal ethical scrutiny was required or undertaken, please state this.

Data analysis
Describe the techniques used to analyse the data, including computer software used, if appropriate. Describe the analysis processes used for both qualitative and quantitative data For example, ‘The quantitative data were analysed using SPSS version X… for correlational techniques’, ‘The data were analysed using NVivo Version X. The data were analysed using thematic content analysis…’, ‘The data were analysed using thematic content analysis…’

Validity and reliability/Rigour
Provide types of and estimates for trustworthiness of qualitative data, including types of dependability and credibility used, and the psychometric properties of quantitative instruments. If tools were developed for this study, describe the processes employed, including validity and reliability testing.

Start with a description of the actual sample. For example, ‘The study participants ranged in age from X to Y years…’

Present findings explicitly for the study aim. For the qualitative data, identify the themes or categories and provide data to support each theme or category, such as quotations from participants.

For the quantitative data, present results explicitly for research question or hypothesis. Indicate whether each hypothesis was supported or rejected.

Use subheadings as appropriate.

Discussion must be in relation to the conceptual or theoretical framework and existing literature. Do previous research findings match or differ from yours?

Draw conclusions about what new knowledge has emerged from the study. For example, this new knowledge could contribute to new conceptualisations or question existing ones; it could lead to the development of tentative/substantive theories (or even hypotheses), it could advance/question existing theories or provide methodological insights, or it could provide data that could lead to improvements in practice.

End with study limitations including but not confined to sample representativeness and/or sample size, transferability of the qualitative findings, and generalizability/external validity of quantitative results.

Provide real conclusions, not just a summary/repetition of the findings.

Draw conclusions about the adequacy of the theory in relation to the data. Indicate whether the data supported or refuted the theory. Indicate whether the conceptual model was a useful and adequate guide for the study.

Identify implications/recommendations for practice/research/education/management as appropriate, and consistent with the limitations.