Interviews with key informants are the most common means of data collection in qualitative descriptive research. Researchers have historically preferred face-to-face interviews but advances in technology have resulted in more options, including email exchanges, to conduct interviews. This article examines the practical utility and suitability of the email interview in qualitative research. The author will share personal experiences from a recent qualitative study involving email interviews of nurse educators. The purpose of the study was to describe the experiences of nurse educators in developing and implementing concurrent enrollment ADN-BSN programs. Interviews of nurse educators describing their experiences of developing and implementing concurrent enrollment ADN-BSN programs offered a firsthand account of the process. A discussion of the potential advantages, disadvantages, and relative appropriateness of email interviews will assist qualitative researchers in determining when this method of data collection may be preferred for their own research.


Email Interviews, Electronic Interviews, Interview Methods, Online Interviews

Author Bio(s)

Janice Hawkins is a nursing faculty member at Old Dominion University where she serves as the departmental academic advisor and director of community and global health initiatives. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: jhawkins@odu.edu.


The author would like to acknowledge Dr. Robin Chard, Dr. Ron Chenail and Dr. Seibert for their guidance and support with this manuscript and the research study that preceded it.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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