Date of Graduation

Spring 2014


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Rhea Felicilda


patient handoff, conflict, interdepartmental, nursing perceptions, communication, emergency nurse, inpatient nurse, perceived competency

Subject Categories



Despite Joint Commission standards and numerous anecdotal reports of handoff conflict causing patient safety issues and effecting nursing morale, there is a paucity of evidence-based research concerning emergency and inpatient unit handoffs. This pilot study used a cross-sectional, non-experimental design to establish an understanding of perceived competency, the causes of conflict, and modifiable factors in the handoff process. An online survey of Likert-type and open-ended questions was administered to 116 inpatient and emergency nurses. Quantitative analysis comparing intra- and inter-group ratings revealed that emergency and inpatient nurses' perceptions of competency are relatively similar, while perceptions of conflict vary based on the goals of each unit. Qualitative analysis exhibited the breadth of nursing conflict and modifiable factors such as workload, time constraints, poor communication, and poor processes. An interdepartmental gap theory based on this work and the previous studies adds perspective to bridging the interdepartmental gap to improve patient safety and nursing culture.


© Kimberly D. Maigi

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