Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing



First Advisor

Dr. Linda Zoeller

Second Advisor

Dr. Yvonne Ford

Third Advisor

Dr. Barbara Barton

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


This study employed an exploratory confirmatory design in order to answer research questions regarding the theoretical concept of nursing interruptions. Direct observation of nurses occurred during the medication administration process utilizing a data collection tool developed by the author using operational concepts previously defined in the literature (Jett & George, 2003). Data collection for this study occurred on a general medical unit at a tertiary teaching facility in southwest Michigan.

A convenience sample of registered nurses working in a general medical unit was recruited in order to obtain 30 medication administration episodes. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t tests, and Pearson's correlation coefficient. The results from this analysis indicate that interruptions in the form of breaks and intrusions were the most frequently occurring interruptions. Nurses were responsible for the majority of these interruptions. There were significantly more interruptions that occurred during the day timeframe as opposed to the night timeframe. Female nurse participants experienced more interruptions than the male nurse participant in this study.

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