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  1. Weeks, Karen DNP, RN, CCRN-K
  2. Timalonis, Joan MSN, RN, CNE
  3. Donovan, Laureen PhD, RN, CCRN


Purpose: Alarm fatigue among working nurses is a well-documented, high-priority safety issue. This article describes a study to learn whether alarm fatigue develops in undergraduate nursing student populations.


Methods: This longitudinal quantitative study employed survey data from a single cohort of nursing students in the Southeastern US over a period of 18 months to assess nursing students' level of sensitivity to alarms, including the call bell, bathroom, fall and safety, I.V. infusion pumps, and telemetry alarms.


Results: These data were significant for I.V. infusion pump alarms and indicated a general decrease in sensitivity over an 18-month period. Nursing students with previous healthcare experience also noted decreased sensitivity to bathroom call bells and fall and safety alarms.


Conclusion: Alarm fatigue was recognized among the surveyed nursing students. Nurse educators also identified a performance-based strategy to increase student awareness of alarm fatigue and evidence-based strategies to minimize desensitization to alarms in both education and practice.