Communication, Distractions, Mobile devices, Nurses, Smartphones, Working environment



  1. Pucciarelli, Gianluca PhD, MSN, RN
  2. Simeone, Silvio PhD, MSN, RN
  3. Virgolesi, Michele PhD, MSN, RN
  4. Madonna, Giuseppe RN
  5. Proietti, Maria Grazia MSN, RN
  6. Rocco, Gennaro PhD, RN
  7. Stievano, Alessandro PhD, RN


In this study, we describe smartphone-related activities for nurses' work and nonwork purposes; analyzed the differences between smartphone use and nurses' age, gender, and working environment; and observed the influences that personal digital devices have on nurses' performance. We conducted a cross-sectional and correlational study. A convenience sample of nurses was recruited, composed of 256 nurses, mostly women (74.6%) younger than 30 years of age (59%). This study showed that the most frequent work-related smartphone activity was searching for work-related drug references. Smartphones also helped nurses reduce work-related stress and improve unit cohesion and teamwork. Younger nurses and male nurses were more likely than female nurses to use their digital devices during healthcare activities. In addition, 42% of nurses reported that they were distracted by the use of smartphones. If smartphones are used properly, they are certainly helpful tools for improving patient safety and enabling communication among healthcare staff. Otherwise, smartphones can constitute an important source of distraction and endanger patient safety.