"Nurses learn good peripheral intravenous catheter care in wards with supportive leaders and champions. This implies that the quality of nursing practice and patient outcomes are situational" Høvik et al (2024).
Peripheral intravenous catheter care evidence-based guidelines


Aim: To explore barriers and facilitators that influence adherence to evidence-based guidelines for peripheral intravenous catheter care in different hospital wards.

Design: Sequential explanatory mixedmethod study design, with qualitative data used to elaborate on quantitative findings.

Method: Data were collected between March 2021 and March 2022 using the previously validated Peripheral Intravenous Catheter mini questionnaire (PIVC-miniQ) on each ward in a tertiary hospital in Norway. Survey completion was followed by individual interviews with nurses from selected wards. The Pillar Integration Process was used to integrate and analyse the quantitative and qualitative findings.

Results: The PIVC-miniQ screening assessed 566 peripheral intravenous catheters in 448 patients in 41 wards, and we found variation between wards in the quality of care. Based on the quantitative variation, we interviewed 24 nurses on wards with either excellent or not as good quality. The integration of the quantitative and qualitative findings in the study enabled an understanding of factors that influence nurses’ adherence to the care of peripheral venous catheters. One main theme and four subthemes emerged. The main finding was that ward culture affects education practice, and this was evident from four subthemes: (1) Deviation from best practice, (2) Gaps in education and clinical training, (3) Quality variation between wards and (4) The importance of supportive leadership.

Conclusion: This mixed method study is the first study to explore reasons for variability in peripheral intravenous catheter quality across hospital wards. We found that ward culture was central to catheter quality, with evidence of deviations from best practice correlating with observed catheter complications. Ward culture also impacted nursing education, with the main responsibility for learning peripheral intravenous catheter management left to students’ clinical training placements. Addressing this educational gap and fostering supportive leadership, including champions, will likely improve peripheral intravenous catheter care and patient safety.

Implications for the profession and/or patient care: Nurses learn good peripheral intravenous catheter care in wards with supportive leaders and champions. This implies that the quality of nursing practice and patient outcomes are situational. Nurses need a strengthened emphasis on peripheral catheter quality in the undergraduate curriculum, and nurse leaders must emphasize the quality of catheter care in their wards.

Impact: The study findings impact nurse leaders who must commit to quality and safety outcomes by appointing and supporting local ward champions for promoting peripheral intravenous catheter care. This also impacts nursing education providers, as the emphasis on catheter care must be strengthened in the undergraduate nursing curriculum and continually reinforced in the hospital environment, particularly when guidelines are updated.

Reporting method: The study adhered to the Good Reporting of A Mixed Method Study (GRAMM).

Patient or public contribution: A patient representative has been involved in planning this study.


Høvik LH, Gjeilo KH, Ray-Barruel G, Lydersen S, Børseth AW, Gustad LT. Aligning peripheral intravenous catheter quality with nursing culture-A mixed method study. J Clin Nurs. 2024 May 8. doi: 10.1111/jocn.17179. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38716868.