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Addressing Nurse Fatigue to Promote Safety and Health

Joint Responsibilities of Registered Nurses and Employers to Reduce Risks

ANA Position Statement
Effective Date: September 10, 2014

Adopted ByANA and NCSBN
Supersedes: ANA Position Statement (2006): Assuring Patient Safety: The Employers’ Role in Promoting Healthy Nursing Work Hours for Registered Nurses in All Roles and Settings; and ANA Position Statement (2006): Assuring Patient Safety: Registered Nurses’ Responsibility in All Roles and Settings to Guard Against Working When Fatigued.

Purpose
This statement articulates the ANA position with regard to the joint responsibilities of registered nurses and employers to reduce risks from nurse fatigue and to create and sustain a culture of safety, a healthy work environment, and a work-life balance. Both registered nurses and employers have an ethical responsibility to carefully consider the need for adequate rest and sleep when deciding whether to offer or accept work assignments, including on-call, voluntary, or mandatory overtime.

Statement of ANA Position
Registered nurses and employers in all care settings must collaborate to reduce the risks of nurse fatigue and sleepiness associated with shift work and long work hours. Evidence-based strategies must be implemented to proactively address nurse fatigue and sleepiness; to promote the health, safety, and wellness of registered nurses; and to ensure optimal patient outcomes. This document, although written specifically for registered nurses and employers, is also relevant to other health care providers and stakeholders who collaborate to create and sustain a safe and healthy interprofessional work environment. Stakeholders who have a contractual relationship with the worksite and who influence work hours also have a responsibility to address risks.

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