The storied experiences of registered nurses' transition from paper to electronic nursing documentation




Smith, Jeff

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This narrative inquiry was designed to bring to life the storied experiences of registered nurses who have transitioned from paper to electronic nursing documentation and to provide a foundation for others who may be preparing to implement electronic documentation and wish to consider the significance of these nurses' stories of change in their own contexts. The study was guided by one research question: what does it mean for registered nurses to transition from paper to electronic nursing documentation?

Eight registered nurses, working in the North Texas area and representing a cross section of ages, nursing experience, and gender; as well as hospital sizes and locations within the study's geographical setting were interviewed for this study. Their storied experiences of transitioning to electronic documentation are retold here, using the metaphorical narrative inquiry three-dimensional space as an analytical tool for placing participants' stories at the convergence of interaction, space, and temporality or continuity; a point named in this study as the narrative moment. Education, support, and the environment of care were identified as major themes within the contextualized stories told by registered nurses. Sub-themes included generational differences in learning, communication, and patient safety. Findings support the notion that nurses desire systems that provide for patient safety, clear and accurate documentation, real-time and simultaneous access to patient information, quality care consistent with best practice and evidence- based research, ease of learning and use, and time savings.



Health and environmental sciences, Applied sciences, Computer charting, Electronic chart, Nursing documentation, Paper documentation, Registered nurses' transition