Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Fatigue Countermeasures


The most recent research on nurse fatigue suggests the following fatigue countermeasures:
(a) provision of adequate staffing to enable nurses to take breaks
(b) completely relieved breaks and meal periods
(c) the use of strategic naps during breaks or meal periods
(d) establishment of sleeping accommodations for nurses’ use with administrative support, such as a sleep recliner and a timer; and
(e) suspension of organizational policies that result in termination for sleeping on duty.
Obtaining sufficient sleep before beginning a shift and judicious use of caffeine were also identified as fatigue countermeasures.