Designing a measure of complexity compression in registered nurses

Kathleen E. Krichbaum, Cynthia Peden-McAlpine, Carol Diemert, Patty Koenig, Christine Mueller, Kay Savik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Researchers in Minnesota have described and validated the phenomenon of Complexity Compression in qualitative studies of registered nurses. Analysis of themes from this research led to the design of a survey to assess nurses' agreement with variables that contribute to their experience of Complexity Compression. The survey was administered to a random sample of 199 registered nurses in Minnesota. Exploratory factor analysis was used to evaluate the attributes of Complexity Compression and its underlying structure. Three factors emerged that explained 51.4% of the variance in responses: work of nursing, systems, and personal factors. Internal consistency of the factors ranged from.79 to.89. Validity of the survey for assessment of Complexity Compression in hospital-based nurses was supported. The construct of Complexity Compression and its contributing factors will be tested in future studies with nurses in a variety of health care settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-25
Number of pages19
JournalWestern journal of nursing research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Complexity Compression
  • quality
  • safety
  • work environment


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