Introduction to Nursing Diagnosis: Fatigue

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms reported by patients and can be caused by a variety of underlying medical problems or lifestyle choices. In order to ensure the best care for patients, it is important for nurses to understand the concept of fatigue and the nursing diagnosis associated with it.

Nursing Diagnosis Definition

The nursing diagnosis for fatigue is defined as “consistent low level of alertness and energy related to depleted resources and a need for rest.”

Defining Characteristics


  • Verbal report of feeling tired and exhausted
  • Complaints of difficulty staying awake
  • Anxiety related to lack of energy
  • Malaise


  • Sleepiness
  • Listlessness
  • Slow response times to mental tasks
  • Decreased physical activity

Related Factors

Fatigue can be caused by a number of physical and psychological factors. These may include medical conditions such as anemia or cancer, nutritional deficiencies, dehydration, sleep deprivation, medications, mental health disorders, or stressful living conditions.

Risk Populations

People at a higher risk for fatigue include those who are elderly, pregnant women, pediatric patients, individuals experiencing chronic illness or mental health challenges, and those who have endured trauma.

Associated Problems

Lack of energy can lead to decreased concentration, poor performance at work or school, irritability and mood swings, social isolation, or depression.

Suggestion of Use

Nurses should assess patients presenting with fatigue and consider appropriate interventions. This may include lifestyle changes like increasing physical activity, going to bed earlier, eating nutritious meals, or finding adequate rest.

Suggested Alternative Nursing Diagnosis

Other diagnoses to consider when assessing a patient for fatigue include:

  • Sleep deprivation (00228)
  • Powerlessness (00185)
  • Impaired activity tolerance (00216)
  • Ineffective coping (00039)
  • Decisional conflict (00045)

Usage Tips

When evaluating a patient’s fatigue, it is important to consider possible sources of stress or lifestyle choices that may be contributing to the problem, such as working long hours, alcohol or drug use, or physical activity levels.

NOC Results

Nurses can collect data related to fatigue using the NOC system. These results may include:

  • Energy conservation: ability to conserve their energy and manage daily activities without becoming overly fatigued.
  • Sleep/rest: quality and quantity of sleep being provided.
  • Mental alertness: orientation and ability to stay alert and focused.
  • Physical endurance: ability to maintain physical activity even during periods of increased fatigue.

NIC Interventions

Nurses can provide the following interventions to address fatigue in patients:

  • Activity planning: assist the patient in creating a realistic plan for managing their energy and activity levels.
  • Stress management: provide support and education to help the patient identify, reduce, and cope with stress.
  • Sleep enhancement: provide patient with techniques to improve the quality and quantity of sleep.
  • Exercise promotion: guide the patient in engaging in physical activity to promote energy levels and endurance.


Fatigue is a common symptom experienced by many people, and recognizing and understanding the associated nursing diagnosis is an important part of providing comprehensive patient care. By utilizing evidence-based assessment, interventions, and tools, nurses can support patients in managing fatigue, reducing its impact on their day-to-day life, and promoting overall health and well-being.


  • What is the nursing diagnosis for fatigue?
    The nursing diagnosis for fatigue is defined as “consistent low level of alertness and energy related to depleted resources and a need for rest.”
  • What are the associated problems with fatigue?
    The associated problems with fatigue include decreased concentration, poor performance at work or school, irritability and mood swings, social isolation, or depression.
  • What are the possible interventions for fatigue?
    The possible interventions for fatigue include activity planning, stress management, sleep enhancement, and exercise promotion.

Isabella White

Hello to all nursing enthusiasts! I'm Isabella White and I'm thrilled to welcome you to this space dedicated to the exciting world of nursing. Let me share a little about myself and what we can expect together on this journey. About Me: Nursing is more than just a profession to me, it's a calling. When I'm not caring for my patients or learning more about health and wellness, you'll find me enjoying the great outdoors, exploring new trails in nature, or savoring a good cup of coffee with close friends. I believe in the balance between caring for others and self-care, and I'm here to share that philosophy with you. My Commitment to You: In this space, I commit to being your reliable guide in the world of nursing. Together, we'll explore health topics, share practical tips, and support each other on our journeys to wellness. But we'll also celebrate life beyond the hospital walls, finding moments of joy in the everyday and seeking adventures that inspire us to live fully. In summary, this is a place where nursing meets life, where we'll find support, inspiration, and hopefully a little fun along the way. Thank you for joining me on this exciting journey. Welcome to a world of care, knowledge, and connection! Sincerely, Isabella White

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