Nursing Associated Medication Errors: Are Internationally Educated Nurses Different from U.S. Educated Nurses?

Jay J. Shen 1 * , Alona D. Angosta 2, Michelle Sotero 1, Jennifer Rice 1, Karmjit Raju 3

European Journal of Environment and Public Health, Volume 2, Issue 1, Article No: 01.

https://doi.org/10.20897/ejeph/85002

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Abstract

Medication errors can be detrimental to patient safety and contribute to additional costs in healthcare. The United States has seen a steady increase in internationally-educated nurses (IENs) entering the nursing workforce. The current study builds upon the existing research examining the relationship between IENs and medication errors by controlling for confounding factors and testing whether IENs were more likely to make multiple medication errors compared to USENs. This study was a quasi-case control study. The 2006 and 2010 medication error incident data from hospital risk management departments were used. The final sample was 1,773, representing 788 registered nurse in the case group and 985 registered nurses in the control group. Multivariable analyses were conducted to examine single medication error, multiple errors, and consequence of medication errors, in comparing the IENs to USENs. IENs tended to have multiple errors more often than USENs in 2006 (31.7% for IENs and 20.5% for USENs, p = 0.03), but these differences became marginally significant after combining both years of data and completing the multivariable models adjusting for covariates (Odds ratio = 1.38, p = 0.06). No significant differences in making a single error and medication error consequences were observed between IENs and USENs. Although no significant differences between IENs and USENs in having medication error incidents were observed, IENs might be more likely to have multiple medication error incidents in a year compared to USENs. Policies that encourage targeted orientation addressing implicit belief systems about the nursing role and explains patient safety expectations as well as procedures for medication administration may be beneficial for IENs. Supportive leadership that is culturally competent, ensures ongoing continuing education in pharmacology, and provides culturally appropriate incentives for self-reporting medication errors are important.

Keywords

medication error, internationally educated nurse

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Citation

Shen, J. J., Angosta, A. D., Sotero, M., Rice, J., and Raju, K. (2018). Nursing Associated Medication Errors: Are Internationally Educated Nurses Different from U.S. Educated Nurses?. European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2(1), 01. https://doi.org/10.20897/ejeph/85002

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