Every one out of 10 nurses reported suffering from high levels of burnout worldwide. It is unclear if burnout affects job performance, and in turn, impairs patient safety, including medication safety. The purpose of this study is to determine whether nurse burnout predicts self-reported medication administration errors (MAEs).
A cross-sectional study using electronic surveys was conducted from July 2018 through January 2019, using the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory. Staff registered nurses (N = 928) in acute care Alabama hospitals (N = 42) were included in this study. Descriptive statistics, correlational, and multilevel mixed-modeling analyses were examined.
All burnout dimensions (Personal, Work-related, and Client-related Burnout) were significantly correlated with age (r = −0.17 to −0.21), years in nursing (r = −0.10 to −0.17), years of hospital work (r = −0.07 to −0.10), and work environment (r = −0.24 to −0.57). The average number of self-reported MAEs in the last 3 months was 2.13. Each burnout dimension was a statistically significant predictor of self-reported MAEs (p < .05).
Nurse burnout is a significant factor in predicting MAEs. This study provides important baseline data for actionable interventions to improve nursing care delivery, and ultimately health care, for Alabamians.