Leah Swenson

Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


A lack of knowledge exists in the physical and psychological impact shift work, particularly working during the night shift, causes in nurses. Inadequate rest derived from night shift work seriously affects the frontal cortex's ability to control speech, access memory, and solve problems. It has been well documented that night shift workers sleep less, perform less effectively on psychomotor and cognitive tests, make more errors during night shifts, and are at higher risk for motor vehicle accidents because of post-night shift drowsiness. Planned naps in the workplace may be an effective intervention to some of these adverse circumstances

A comprehensive review of literature will be completed to provide the basis for an educational inservice. The inservice will transpire at a small, rural, Midwestern hospital and will emphasize that night shin work for nurses presents serious concerns for patient safety as well as undesirable risks to their own personal health status. The inservice will consist of an informative powerpoint presentation in addition to a didactic presentation of various circadian sleep concepts. The information presented will suggest that planned naps in the workplace may be effective for health care professionals to promote a higher level of alertness, attention to detail, and decision- making proficiency. An evaluation tool will consist often questions given to all of the inservice participants at the conclusion of the educational inservice. Correct and incorrect answers to the questions will provide the evaluation indicators of learning. A second evaluation tool, a rating scale, will be used to determine the author's ability to present the information to the audience

It is hoped at the culmination of this project, health care workers and administrators will have a better understanding of the impact working night shifts have on patient safety and the nurses' personal health status. The information will provide a foundation of knowledge to facilitate the decision-making process whether planned naps for nurses on the night shift are feasible in this particular facility or not