Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Purpose, Scope & Target Audience


  • This Best Practice Guideline (BPG) focuses on evidence-informed staffing and workload recommendations that can be implemented to benefit patients, nurses and other health-care providers, and organizations, as well as research, education, health-care policy, and systems.
  • The goal of this Guideline is to assist nurses, nursing leaders, and senior management groups across practice domains and settings to create healthy work environments through safe, effective staffing and workload practices.


This Guideline addresses the following:

  • Knowledge, competencies, and behaviours that support safe, effective staffing and workload practices;
  • Educational requirements and strategies that support safe, effective staffing and workload practices;
  • Funding for organizational, operational, and system policies that support safe, effective staffing and workload practices; and
  • Future research opportunities.

Target Audience:

This Guideline is aimed at:

  • all categories of nurses in all roles and practice settings, including: administrators at the unit, organizational, and system levels; clinical nurses; students; educators; researchers; and members of the inter-professional team
  • policy-makers;
  • patient groups;
  • governments;
  • professional organizations;
  • employers;
  • labour groups; and
  • federal, provincial, and territorial standard-setting bodies and policy organizations, such as Accreditation Canada.
Healthy Work Environment
Developing and Sustaining Effective Staffing and Workload Practices
Background Information