Understanding situation awareness in nursing work: A hybrid concept analysis

Mary Cathryn Sitterding, Marion E. Broome, Linda Q. Everett, Patricia Ebright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


Eighty percent of medical error are attributed to human factors. Human factors experts suggest the least explored factor in patient errors is attention, specifically, situation awareness. The purpose of this article was to analyze the concept of situation awareness using a hybrid concept analysis. The experience of situation awareness among nurses was elicited during the fieldwork phase through semistructured interviews. Content and relational analyses yielded 9 themes: perception, comprehension, projection, knowledge and expertise, cognitive overload, interruption management, task management, instantaneous learning, and cognitive stacking. A conceptual definition of situation awareness emerged along with recommendations for application in nursing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-92
Number of pages16
JournalAdvances in Nursing Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • attention
  • cognitive work of nursing
  • nursing work
  • safety
  • situation awareness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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