Streaming Media

Name of Corresponding Author

Lisa Harton

Credentials of Corresponding Author


Name of Faculty Advisor

Lisa Skemp


The purpose of this study was to explore and describe safety culture as experienced by medical-surgical staff nurses, registered nurses, and nurse leaders in a community hospital.

Background and significance

People enter into healthcare facilities to maintain or restore health; however, often times those seeking health are harmed during the process by avoidable medical errors. Since the Institute of Medicine report on patient harm, safety culture continues to be the largest barrier in realizing safer patient care. Nurses’ comprise the largest component of the health care workforce in hospitals and consistently have the lowest perceptions of a safety culture. Leaders who play a key role in creating and sustaining a safety culture consistently have the most favorable perception of safety culture.

Theoretical/Conceptual framework

AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture


Inductive Qualitative Description


Six themes described by staff nurses and six themes described by nurse leaders were similar in language resulting in six shared language categories. The categories were relationships with patients, nursing interventions, relationships with colleagues, resources, organization prioritizes, and learning. Although language was similar, the experiences were difference resulting in staff nurses and nurse leaders making sure patients were safe. Staff nurses made sure by being able to provide safe care. Nurse leaders made sure by making sure everyone was providing safe care.


Although staff nurses and nurse leaders used similar language, the meaning of the language between SNs and NLs was different. Both groups of participants described barriers in making sure patients were safe.



The Discrepancy in Safety Culture Perceptions between Staff Nurses and Nurse Leaders in Medical-Surgical Units