Exploring the Hidden Functions of Nursing Bedside Shift Report: A Performance, Ritual, and Sensemaking Opportunity

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Background:Implementing Nursing Bedside Shift Report (NBSR) is challenging for nurse leaders. Before implementing or improving NBSR, nurse leaders need a clear understanding of the process and functions of nursing shift report. However, the social-cultural latent functions (unrecognized or unintended uses) of NBSR are poorly understood.Purpose:The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe the latent functions of NBSR from the perspectives of frontline nurses.Methods:Thematic analysis of previously collected semistructured interviews with nurses (n = 13) about NBSR was used to explore NBSR's latent functions.Results:Three latent functions emerged; nurses used bedside shift report as a performance, ritual, and sensemaking opportunity. The latent functions are described, and corresponding recommendations for successful implementation of NBSR are provided.Conclusions:Nurse leaders can use this study's findings to inform the development or improvement of an efficient, effective, and sustainable NBSR process at their local institution.

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