A key to the success of any research project is recruiting the right number of subjects. Although a larger sample size may seem like the obvious solution, researchers must recognize that ethically, efforts should be made to recruit the minimum number of subjects required to successfully complete the study. Sample size, therefore, is a game of balance. From the statistical point of view, the bigger the sample size, the better. From the economic and management point of view, the smaller the sample size, the better. Determining the most appropriate sample size is often accomplished with a power analysis.

Most investigators who conduct point-of-care research struggle with the question, “will my intervention make a difference?” No researchers design a study that they expect will fail to make an impact for patients or nurses delivering care. Investigators are motivated by the belief or observation that...

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