Research lessons from implementing a national nursing workforce study

T. Brzostek, P. Brzyski, M. Kózka, A. Squires, L. Przewoźniak, M. Cisek, K. Gajda, T. Gabryś, M. Ogarek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: National nursing workforce studies are important for evidence-based policymaking to improve nursing human resources globally. Survey instrument translation and contextual adaptation along with level of experience of the research team are key factors that will influence study implementation and results in countries new to health workforce studies. Aim: This study's aim was to describe the pre-data collection instrument adaptation challenges when designing the first national nursing workforce study in Poland while participating in the Nurse Forecasting: Human Resources Planning in Nursing project. Methods: A descriptive analysis of the pre-data collection phase of the study. Instrument adaptation was conducted through a two-phase content validity indexing process and pilot testing from 2009 to September 2010 in preparation for primary study implementation in December 2010. Means of both content validation phases were compared with pilot study results to assess for significant patterns in the data. Results: The initial review demonstrated that the instrument had poor level of cross-cultural relevance and multiple translation issues. After revising the translation and re-evaluating using the same process, instrument scores improved significantly. Pilot study results showed floor and ceiling effects on relevance score correlations in each phase of the study. Limitations: The cross-cultural adaptation process was developed specifically for this study and is, therefore, new. It may require additional replication to further enhance the method. Conclusions: The approach used by the Polish team helped identify potential problems early in the study. The critical step improved the rigour of the results and improved comparability for between countries analyses, conserving both money and resources. This approach is advised for cross-cultural adaptation of instruments to be used in national nursing workforce studies. Implications for nursing and health policy: Countries seeking to conduct national nursing workforce surveys to improve nursing human resources policies may find the insights provided by this paper useful to guide national level nursing workforce study implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-420
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Nursing Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Content Validity Indexing
  • Cross-Cultural Instrument Validation
  • Health Workforce
  • Human Resources for Health
  • Nurses
  • Nursing
  • Poland
  • Survey Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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