Nurses’ Work Overload and Quality Improvement Initiative

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 3
Words: 923
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College

Quality Improvement

The quality of services provided by nurses is key to secure patient outcomes and overall healthcare development. Hence, there are various factors that tend to affect the nurses’ productivity in the workplace, including interprofessional collaboration, qualifications, motivation, and communication skills. However, arguably the most important factor that contributes to the nurses’ ability to present quality clinical service is the amount of rest they have both in between and during the shifts. According to the research, the fatigue and sleepiness associated with long-hour and night shifts at hospitals open twenty-four hours serve as a primary contributor to poor psychomotor performance and, hence, poor patient outcomes and work quality (Di Muzio et al., 2019). Considering the relevance of this issue, the quality improvement initiative introduced in this summary concerns the introduction of scheduled 30-minute naps during the nurses’ work shifts.

The Purpose of the Initiative

The elimination of medical errors, as well as the overall improvement of the hospital’s workflow, have always been initiatives pursued by the administration. Thus, when dealing with these issues, it is of utmost importance to understand that a significant number of medical errors, injuries, and incompetence derive from the nurses’ exposure to work overload, fatigue, and poor workplace environment (Knupp et al., 2018). As a result, there is a demand for the administration to take measures to ensure that nurses feel valued and understood while increasing the hospital’s productivity. The purpose of introducing such quality improvement initiatives as scheduled naps during shifts is to improve the quality of health care provided on the hospital premises and to secure nurses’ well-being through burnout prevention.

Target Population

As far as the initiative is concerned, the primary focus is placed on the registered nurses who work eight- to twelve-hour shifts at the hospital. Scholarly evidence demonstrates that the implementation of 30-minute naps during twelve-hour shifts presents a beneficial impact on the nurses’ quality of work and their psychomotor performance (Han et al., 2021). For this reason, as far as registered nurses within the facility are concerned, the introduction of scheduled naps should be of tremendous benefit for their well-being and professionalism. Moreover, while explicitly directed at nurses, the other stakeholders, including physicians, patients, and administration, will as well benefit from the positive outcomes brought by the initiative.

Benefits of the Initiative

The first and arguably the most important benefit of introducing naps during work shifts will be the rapid improvement in nurses’ alertness rates and concentration. According to Han et al. (2021), the feeling of drowsiness experienced by nurses working long shifts is likely to affect the quality of nursing provided to the patients. Once the scheduled nap initiative was introduced, the issue of drowsiness became more manageable, and the overall fatigue rates among nurses started to decrease gradually (Han et al., 2021). Moreover, when faced with sleep deprivation and sleepiness during the shift, nurses lose the ability to judge the situation objectively.

When deprived of reason, nurses are exposed to increased risks of errors and injuries, as well as irritability and inability to communicate with both the staff and the patients (Weinstein, 2020). The introduction of scheduled naps, for their part, will benefit both the workplace ambiance and the nurses’ mental well-being and sane judgment. Finally, the implementation of power napping in the workplace is likely to promote the techniques of meaningful rest for nurses, implying the overall improvement of sleeping patterns among nurses (Foster, 2019). Hence, it may be concluded that the implementation of napping in the workplace may become an asset not only for nurses but for the hospital setting in general.

Interprofessional Collaboration

In order for the system of scheduled napping to work properly, interprofessional collaboration is required between the nurses and the management. Essentially, it is the nurse manager’s primary responsibility to ensure proper workflow within the setting. Hence, when planning scheduled naps during the shifts, nurse managers are to encourage communication between nurses for them to decide on the most appropriate schedule framework. In case such an agreement is not met, the collaboration should happen on the nurse-manager levels individually. The efficient framework of scheduled naps presupposes that staff members cooperate and cover each other during the breaks. Otherwise, the workflow may become compromised.

Budget Justification

In the studies that justify the benefits of scheduled and power napping, the study subjects were placed in separate dark and quiet rooms for nap time (Han et al., 2019; Foster, 2019). When applied to the designated setting, the initiative does not require any additional cots allocations, as the hospital obtains a spare room that can be used for nap purposes, The only endeavor required to present the initiative would be to design the room according to the guidelines by placing a comfortable bed or chair as well as to cover the sources of daylight.

Basis for Evaluation

As far as qualitative evaluation is concerned, prior to the initial implementation, the nurses will be asked to fill in self-administered questionnaires regarding their perception of fatigue and drowsiness at work. Two weeks after the scheduled nap intervention, the nurses will hand in the same questionnaires in order to contrast the results. When it comes to quantitative indicators, the primary basis for evaluation will be the number of medical errors conducted prior to and after the initiative implementation. Hence, having considered the implications of introducing scheduled naps for nurses who work eight- to twelve-hour shifts, it may be concluded that such an initiative is a cost-efficient way to eliminate the major risk factor of fatigue, burnout, medical errors, and interprofessional conflicts.


Di Muzio, M., Reda, F., Diella, G., Di Simone, E., Novelli, L., D’Atri, A., Giannini, A., & De Gennaro, L. (2019). Not only a problem of fatigue and sleepiness: Changes in psychomotor performance in Italian nurses across 8-h rapidly rotating shifts. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 8(1), 47. Web.

Foster, S. (2019). To sleep, perchance? British Journal of Nursing, 28(12), 815-815. Web.

Han, K., Hwang, H., Lim, E., Jung, M., Lee, J., Lee, S., Lim, E., Kim, Y.-H., Choi-Kwon, S., & Baek, H. (2021). Scheduled naps improve drowsiness and quality of nursing care among 12-hour shift nurses. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(3), 891. Web.

Knupp, A. M., Patterson, E. S., Ford, J. L., Zurmehly, J., & Patrick, T. (2018). Associations among nurse fatigue, individual nurse factors, and aspects of the nursing practice environment. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 48(12), 642-648. Web.