The aim of this study was to examine acute care registered nurses' (RNs') fall prevention decision-making.
The RN decision-making process related to fall prevention needs to be investigated to ensure that hospital policies align with nursing workflow and support nursing judgment.
Qualitative semistructured interviews based on the Critical Decision Method were conducted with RNs about their planning and decision making during their last 12-hour shift worked.
Data saturation was achieved with 12 RNs. Nine themes emerged related to the RN decision-making process and included hospital-level (eg, fear of discipline), unit-level (eg, value of bed alarm technology), and nurse-level (eg, professional judgment) factors that could influence fall prevention.
Nursing administrators should consider a multilevel approach to fall prevention policies that includes promoting a practice environment that embraces self-reporting adverse events without fear of shame or being reprimanded, evaluating unit-level practice and technology acceptance and usability, and supporting autonomous nursing practice.