Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Recommendation 2.0 Research


2.1 Researchers partner with governments, professional associations, regulatory bodies, unions, health service organizations and educational institutions, to conduct research on the relationship between fatigue, workload, work hours and the amount of sleep needed to provide safe patient care. The goal is to increase understanding of the relationship between nurse fatigue and patient safety, identify measures to decrease fatigue and reduce the impact of fatigue on patient and nurse safety.
2.2            Interprofessional researchers study the:
a)       hours worked, 12 hours shifts, on-call patterns and intervals between shifts worked by nurses at all levels e.g., staff nurses, managers, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, etc., in a variety of healthcare settings
b)       gap in provincial infrastructure to monitor how much nurses are working as many hold positions in multiple organizations across the healthcare sectors
c)       prevalence and incidence of fatigue based on gender, marital status, lifestyle and age
d)       efficacy of programs to determine, assess, and mitigate fatigue in healthcare settings
e)       nature of mitigating factors influencing fatigue in the workplace, including part-time employment, and nurses working multiple jobs