Nursing overtime: Why, how much, and under what working conditions?

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To provide the best care to patients, the physical wellness of nursing staff is essential. Current evidence indicates long work hours can lead to adverse nurse and patient outcomes. To provide quality and safe patient care, both staff nurses and nurse managers need to recognize the adverse effects of overtime, whether it is mandatory or voluntary. Results of this study showed overtime was not used more when there was an increase in nursing shortages. Further, overtime was not used to control shortages; rather, understating was an underlying condition of the nursing practice, at least in the study sample. Thus, efforts must be made not only to prevent nurses from working long hours, but also to resolve the problem of under-staffing in order to retain qualified nurses in hospitals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-71
Number of pages12
JournalNursing Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012


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