Understanding the complexity of registered nurse work in acute care settings

J Nurs Adm. 2003 Dec;33(12):630-8. doi: 10.1097/00005110-200312000-00004.


Nursing shortages and patient safety mandates require nursing managers and administrators to consider new ways of understanding the complexity of healthcare provider work in actual situations. The authors report findings from a study guided by an innovative research approach to explore factors affecting registered nurse performance during real work on acute care medical-surgical units. Our findings suggest beginning targets for interventions to improve patient safety, as well as recruitment and retention, through support for registered nurse work.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Decision Making*
  • Humans
  • Nursing Care / organization & administration
  • Nursing Care / psychology*
  • Nursing Research