Patient safety is a prominent issue in health care as evidenced by the staggering statistics of deaths and harm due to preventable medical errors. As front line clinical leaders, charge nurses (CNs) have key roles in keeping patients safe. There is a gap in knowledge of the specific actions and processes CNs implement to keep patients safe. This study attempted to narrow this gap by exploring actions and processes CNs implement to keep patients safe using a grounded theory design and generating a substantive theory that can inform CN job descriptions, serve as the basis for CN orientation and training, and empower CNs to promote patient safety in practice. This study utilized purposive sampling of CNs on medical-surgical units with data collected through 11 interviews and six observations. The substantive theory that emerged was Navigating through Chaos: CNs balancing multiple roles, maintaining a watchful eye and working with and leading the health care team to keep patients safe. This study contributes to the knowledge base of the CN role related to patient safety. Recommendations to maximize the potential of the CN role in promoting patient safety include clearly defining CN role responsibilities, addressing staffing shortages, and providing CNs with the necessary information to complete their work. The specific actions and processes identified in this study can be incorporated into course content on clinical nursing leadership. The substantive theory can also guide further research to study relationships between specific CN actions and processes and patient safety outcomes.
|School:||University of Phoenix|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-B 76/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Nursing, Health care management|
|Keywords:||Charge nurse role, Charge nurse role functions, Charge nurses, Nursing leadership, Patient safety|
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