Nurses amidst change: the concept of change fatigue offers an alternative perspective on organizational change

Policy Polit Nurs Pract. 2013 Feb;14(1):26-32. doi: 10.1177/1527154413481811. Epub 2013 Apr 2.


This article aims to clarify the concept of change fatigue and deems further exploration of the concept within the discipline of nursing is relevant and necessary. The concept of change fatigue has evolved from the discipline of management as a means to explore organization change and its associated triumphs and failures. Change fatigue has typically been described as one and the same as change resistance, with very little literature acknowledging that they are in fact distinct concepts. Concept clarification has highlighted the striking differences and few similarities that exist between the concepts of change fatigue and change resistance. Further exploration and subsequent research on the concept of change fatigue is needed within the discipline of nursing. The concept not only presents new and alternative perspectives on the processes of organization change, but provides opportunity for theory development that recognizes the impact organizational change has on nurses' work lives.

Keywords: change fatigue; change resistance; concept clarification; nurse work life; organizational change.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology*
  • Fatigue / diagnosis
  • Fatigue / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Theory
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Patient Safety
  • Professional Competence