Protective Disciplinary Exchange: A Qualitative Study into Nurse Managers’ Supportive Strategies for Nursing Error Management

Document Type : Original Article



Background: Understanding nurse managers’ supportive strategies for managing nursing errors can facilitate the improvement of nursing care quality and patient safety. Objectives: This study aimed to explore nurse managers’ supportive strategies for nursing error management (NEM). Methods: This descriptive qualitative study was conducted on twenty nurse managers and two nurses purposively recruited from teaching hospitals affiliated to Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran. The data were collected via in‑depth semistructured interviews and concurrently analyzed via conventional content analysis. Results: Nurse managers’ supportive strategies for NEM were overlooking nurses’ errors to promote their obedience, prioritizing nursing care measures to reduce errors, error prevention training rounds during shift handover instead of error reporting, and alternative disciplinary measures instead of error reporting. These strategies were conceptualized as protective disciplinary exchange. Conclusion: Protective disciplinary exchange denotes that nurse managers prefer to manage nursing errors with flexibility. This situational communicative strategy helps nurse managers protect their staff resources and maintain their positions.