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2016-17 NLI Action Learning Plan Report - Group 4

Development of Resources for Nurses Having Difficulty Obtaining Meal and Rest Breaks

by Allison Seymour, RN, Nicole Cantu, RN, and Ateusa Salemi, RN

ONA’s second Nurse Leadership Institute (NLI) second cohort featured four groups, each of which were tasked with developing an action learning project (ALP) as a way to implement the skills they have learned throughout the institute. This is the fourth and final group's ALP report.

This summary comes from Allison Seymour RN (Salem Health), Nicole Cantu RN (Sacred Heart Medical Center) and Ateusa Salemi RN (ONA Labor Relations Representative).

Our last group was inspired by the 6th Provision of the ANA Code of Ethics to develop a resource for nurses who are having difficulty obtaining meal and rest breaks. Provision 6 states:

“The nurse participates in establishing, maintaining, and improving health care environments and conditions of employment conducive to the provision of quality health care and consistent with the values of the profession through individual and collection action.”

Nurses in hospital across Oregon and the country are faced with the challenges of working in a 24-7 environment and often are expected to find ways to take meals and rest breaks on their own. The group conducted extensive research to find options to assist nurses and staffing committees to help plan for and schedule rest and meal periods for nurses. Incorporated into their report is a breakdown of state and federal law, references to lawsuits, and research about fatigue and patient safety.

You can learn more about the research and steps nurses can take in the full ALP report which will be published in mid-May. The group is also working on a continuing education module for ONA’s OCEAN learning system

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