Date of Award

Spring 5-2023

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

Dr. Amy Hamilton

Project Team Faculty Member

Dr. Kelly McGuire


Just culture, undergraduate nursing students, quality improvement, patient safety, curriculum development, teaching strategies


Understanding the importance of reporting errors, near misses, and good catches by nursing students is not a standard part of the curriculum at the project site. Nursing students lack pre-requisite knowledge of how just culture does not aim to place blame on individuals but focuses on system flaws. Nursing students fear being dismissed from the nursing program if they make and/or report errors. A focus on eliminating the fear of dismissal from a nursing program for error reporting and formally educating how error reporting can help shape practice for many other nursing students and nurses will result in better data to drive high-quality, safe evidence-based practices and will help to engrain a just culture in the undergraduate nursing program. The purpose of this project was to evaluate just culture knowledge in undergraduate nursing students in the 3rd-semester of school before and after the addition of just culture education at a community college. The education consisted of 30 minutes of formal in-classroom theory content provided via lecture and the use of a PowerPoint presentation to 29 undergraduate nursing students. The 3rd-semester nursing students were given the Just Culture Assessment Tool for Nursing Education (JCAT-NE) survey pre and post-formal classroom education. The JCAT-NE consisted of 27 questions divided into 6 subscales. Five questions in two subscales, fear of reporting and understanding of continuous improvement process, had a statistically significant improvement with a p-value of post-education calculated by performing a Mann-Whitney U test. The difference means in the five questions ranged from 1.66 to -2.00. The results indicate that formal education improves understanding of the importance of reporting errors and how it contributes to quality and safety improvement. Building a stronger curriculum focusing on the quality and safety aspect of reporting errors, near misses, and good catches could help future generations of nurses reduce errors resulting in improved healthcare and quality patient outcomes.

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