Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Purpose & Scope


This best practice guideline has been developed to identify and describe:

  • practices that result in preventing and mitigating fatigue for nurses and other health-care professionals;
  • system resources that support practices to prevent fatigue;
  • organizational culture, values and resources that support effective practices to prevent fatigue;
  • personal resources that can be used to prevent or mitigate fatigue; and
  • anticipated outcomes when fatigue is effectively managed.


This best practice guideline addresses:

  • knowledge, competencies and behaviours that recognize, prevent and mitigate fatigue;
  • educational requirements and strategies;
  • policy changes at organizational and system levels needed to support and sustain practices that prevent and mitigate fatigue;
  • implementation strategies and tools;
  • evaluation criteria and tools; and
  • future research opportunities.


Target Audience

This best practice guideline is relevant to nurses in:

  • all roles, including clinical nurses, administrators, educators, researchers and those engaged in policy work;
  • all domains of nursing (clinical practice, administration, education, research and policy), as well as nursing students; and all practice settings.

This best practice guideline will also be helpful for:

  • interprofessional team members;
  • non-nursing administrators at the unit, organizational and system levels;
  • policymakers and governments;
  • professional organizations, employers and labour groups; and
  • federal, provincial and territorial standard-setting bodies.
Healthy Work Environment
Preventing and Mitigating Nurse Fatigue in Health Care
Background Information