Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

John Anderson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

J. Beth Mabry, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Valarie J. Gunter, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Louann B. Zinsmeister, Ph.D.


Healthcare safety is a major focus for all members of the healthcare team. Registered nurses serve as the one member of the healthcare team that cares for the hospitalized patients throughout their entire stay. Nurses also comprise the largest collective member of the healthcare team. Their combined numbers and hours create the highest level of influence for navigating patients safely through their hospitalization. A higher level of mindfulness leads to a Highly Reliable Organization, improving the safety and quality outcomes for the patients within a healthcare system. Understanding the contributing factors of higher levels of mindfulness leads to a greater ability to safely care for patients within the system. This quantitative study examined the registered nurse characteristics that lead to higher levels of individual mindfulness and collective mindfulness. The study results showed that individual mindfulness has a significant relationship to collective mindfulness. Special training in a registered nurse’s area of work was the only other variable that had a positive relationship with collective mindfulness. Going to school, working weekends, working overtime, and advanced education (e.g. MSN versus BSN) each had negative effects on mindfulness.