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Nursing students' involvement in shift-to-shift handovers: Findings from a national study.

Nurse Educ Today; 75: 13-21, 2019 Apr.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30669021


Effective performance of clinical handovers should be one of the priorities of nursing education to promote efficient communication skills and ensure patient safety. However, to date, no studies have explored to what extent nursing students are involved in handovers.


To explore nursing students' handover involvement during their clinical rotations and associated factors.


This was a secondary analysis of a large national cross-sectional study that involved 9607 undergraduate nursing students in 27 universities across 95 three-year Italian baccalaureate nursing programs. The involvement in the clinical handovers was the end point (from 0, never, to 3, always). A path analysis was performed to identify variables directly and indirectly affecting students' handover involvement.


Handover involvement was reported as 'only a little', 'to some extent', and 'always' by 1739 (18.1%), 2939 (30.6%), and 4180 (43.5%) students, respectively; only 749 (7.8%) of students reported never being involved. At the path analysis explaining the 19.1% of variance of nursing students' involvement, some variables emerged that directly increased the likelihood of being involved in handovers. These were being female (ß = 0.115, p < 0.001); having children (ß = 0.107, p = 0.011); being a 3rd-year student (ß = 0.142, p < 0.001) and being a 2nd-year student as compared to a 1st-year student (ß = 0.050, p = 0.036); and having a longer clinical rotation (ß = 0.015, p < 0.001) in units with high 'quality of the learning environment' (ß = 0.279, p < 0.001). Moreover, students who were supervised by the nurse teacher (ß = -0.279, p < 0.001), or by a nurse on a daily basis (ß = -0.253, p = 0.004), or by the staff (ß = -0.190, p < 0.001) reported being less involved in handovers as compared to those students supervised by a clinical nurse. Variables with indirect effects also emerged (model of student's supervision adopted at the unit level, and number of previous clinical rotations attended by students). Moreover, handover involvement explained 11.5% of students self-reported degree of competences learned during the clinical experience.


Limiting students' opportunity to be involved in handover can prevent the development of communication skills and the professional socialization processes. Strategies at different levels are needed to promote handover among undergraduate nursing students.