Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Patricia Harris PhD, RN, CNS
Nurses are often subjected to working long shift hours, doing overtime, or being on the night-shift. These factors often predispose nurses to inadequate sleep, which impacts memory, cognition, and mental health. This is significant because nurses depend on their psychomotor skills and clinical judgment to deliver effective nursing care. Each decision made is vital to the safety of the patient. Previous research studies have shown the negative effects of sleep deprivation on impaired concentration, judgment, and long-term health such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. While there is significant data in the general population, the specific effects of sleep deprivation in the nursing field are not well-researched. More research is needed to explore how sleep deprivation could be impacting clinical judgment and the occurrence of medical errors. It is also imperative that an effective solution is found to facilitate a nursing environment that allows nurses to get the sleep they need to function at their most optimal level. The studies in this literature review suggest that there is a relationship between sleep deprivation and impaired psychomotor skills, memory, and increased occurrence of medical errors. Another study investigated how scheduled naps could be an effective implementation in reducing fatigue and the occurrence of medical errors. Based on the findings in the review of the literature, a mixed method longitudinal study was designed to examine the effectiveness of naps scheduled during a nursing work shift to alleviate sleep deprivation and potentially decrease the incidence of medical errors.