Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Susan Fetzer

Second Advisor

Carol Williams-Barnard



The purpose of this study was to explore registered nurses’ understanding and practice of “independent double-checks” prior to administration of high-alert medications. The study used a qualitative descriptive design for data collection and data analysis. It included thirteen participants from a hospital located in southern New Hampshire. Results of the study revealed a core theme of navigating independent double checks (IDC) for safer care. Two major themes stemming from the core theme were also uncovered. Navigating IDC through knowing and navigating IDC through nurse partnership both focused on the perception and practice on IDC prior to administration of high alert medications. IDC was accepted and promoted as best practice, but the definition and process is still unclear. Having a universal definition will assist in clarity of the process and in turn, promote ensuring safe administration of high alert medications to patients.

Keywords: independent double check, safer care, knowing, nurse partnership