Perceptions and observations of off-shift nursing
Article first published online: 10 JUL 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Nursing Management
Special Issue: This issue: Patient safety management in the health services Issue editor: Elisabeth Severinsson
Volume 21, Issue 2, pages 283–292, March 2013
How to Cite
DE CORDOVA, P. B., PHIBBS, C. S. and STONE, P. W. (2013), Perceptions and observations of off-shift nursing. Journal of Nursing Management, 21: 283–292. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2012.01417.x
- Issue published online: 11 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 10 JUL 2012
- Accepted for publication: 22 February 2012
- content analysis;
- nurse perceptions;
- quality care
Aim The purpose of this paper is to qualitatively explore registered nurse perceptions of off-shift (e.g. nights and weekends) nursing care and quality compared with regular hours.
Background Patients admitted to hospitals on off-shifts have worse outcomes than patients admitted on more regular hours. The underlying mechanism for this association is not well understood.
Methods In-depth semi-structured interviews of 23 registered nurses and four observer-as-participant observations were conducted on both medical–surgical and intensive care units in two large (>850 beds) tertiary hospitals. Content analysis was used to identify themes.
Results Six themes emerged: (1) collaboration among self-reliant night nurses; (2) completing tasks; (3) taking a breather on weekend day shift; (4) new nurse requirement to work at night; (5) mixture of registered nurse personnel; and (6) night nurse perception of under-appreciation.
Conclusions Although nurses collaborate, complete more tasks and work with other types of registered nurses, the decreased resources available on off-shifts may affect quality care delivered in hospitals.
Implications for nursing management These findings support the importance of management to provide sufficient resources in terms of ancillary personnel and balance less experienced staff. Facilitating communication between night and day nurses may help allay night nurses’ feelings of under-appreciation.