All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Patricia A Patrician

Advisory Committee Members

Marianne Baernholdt

Lori A Loan

Rebecca S Miltner

Haiyan Qu

Dheeraj Raju

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Nursing


Background: Approximately 30% to 60% of nurses report high levels of burnout worldwide. Nurse burnout may impact vigilance and job performance. Nursing job performance may decrease due to lowered alertness if nurses have high levels of burnout, and this issue may be related to the act of committing a medication error. Of the very few studies exploring the relationship between nurse burnout and medication errors, the findings are conflicting. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between nurse work environment characteristics, burnout levels and self-reported medication administration errors as well as patient safety grades among nursing staff in Alabama acute care hospitals. Methods: A cross-sectional, population-based study using electronic surveys included personal characteristics, the Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index (PES-NWI), the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI), and medication error and patient safety grade items from The Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture. Nurses received a postcard with a weblink to access and complete the survey. Staff registered nurses in Alabama acute care hospitals (N=928) were included in this study. Descriptive statistics, correlation, and multilevel mixed-modeling analyses were applied. Results: A majority of Alabama nurses reported high Personal Burnout (60%), high Work-related Burnout (54%), and low to medium Client-related Burnout (72%). All burnout dimensions were significantly correlated to age, years in nursing, years in hospital, and practice environment (p<0.05). The average number of self-reported medication administration errors occurring in participating units during last three months was 2.13. Most participants rated positive perceptions (70%) of patient safety grade. Each burnout dimension was a statistically significant predictor of medication administration errors and patient safety grade after controlling for gender, age, years in hospital, race, and marital status. Implications: This study provides important baseline data for actionable interventions to improve nursing care delivery and ultimately health care for Alabamians. It has the capability to inform Alabama health care systems that hospital level attributes are important to nurses, patients, policy makers, and the public.

Included in

Nursing Commons



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