Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


School of Nursing




Nurse to nurse handoff that occurs at the end of each shift is a known area of potential safety risk due to poor communication and inadequate safety checks. The Joint Commission (TJC) reported that communication between healthcare providers or between patient and healthcare providers was the leading root cause of sentinel events. Research supports the benefits of a structure handoff at the bedside to patient safety and satisfaction. Despite these proven benefits, staff nurses have not consistently embraced the practice. The purpose of this study was to identify nurses’ perceived barriers to performing SBARP (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation and Patient) at the bedside in an acute care setting. Rogers Diffusion of Innovation Theory was used to guide the development and implementation of this project. A mixed qualitative and quantitative survey was utilized to assess the nurses’ perceived barriers to performing SBARP at the patient’s bedside. The survey was distributed to nurses employed on two medical-surgical floors at Newport Hospital. Responses (N = 19) showed that although staff nurses perceived that bedside handoff positively impacted patient satisfaction and patient safety, they did not routinely practice bedside handoff. Nurses cited lack of comfort with the practice, patient privacy, perception of time, and communication of sensitive information as barriers to performing bedside handoff. Sustaining practice change over time in an organization can be challenging. Leadership support and enforcement of bedside handoff in addition to targeted education to reduce perceived barriers to the practice may help to increase the practice of bedside handoff.

Included in

Nursing Commons