Food Availability and Break Space

Nurses require personal space, privacy, quiet time, and preferably uninterrupted time out of the patient care area for meaningful rest breaks. Some ideal break spaces include:

  • Access to nature, daylight, and fresh air (1).
    • Physical access to the outdoors is preferred over window access.
    • In break areas without access to the outdoors, plants can provide benefits. 
      • It’s important to note that posters and murals do not have the same restorative impact.
  • Hydration and food access (2).
    • Make healthy food and snack options available to nursing staff 24/7. 
    • Promote healthy food choices at eye level and make them convenient to consume. 
    • Provide appropriate break lengths for staff to access and consume healthy food and to rehydrate.


  1. Nejati, A., Rodiek, S., & Shepley, M. (2016). Using visual simulation to evaluate restorative qualities of access to nature in hospital staff break areas. Landscape and Urban Planning, 148, 132–138.
  2. Shapiro, D. E., Duquette, C., Abbott, L. M., Babineau, T., Pearl, A., & Haidet, P. (2018). Beyond Burnout: A Physician Wellness Hierarchy Designed to Prioritize Interventions at the Systems Level. The American Journal of Medicine, 132(5), 556–563.