Work Hours, Overtime, and Break Time of Registered Nurses Working in Medium-Sized Korean Hospitals

Sung Heui Bae, Sung Woo Hwang, Gunjeong Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This cross-sectional study used quantitative survey data collected from registered nurses (RNs) who worked as staff nurses in medium-sized (300 beds or less) Korean hospitals. Data from 290 RNs were analyzed to examine the nature and prevalence of staff nurses’ work hours, overtime, breaks, and related work conditions. The results showed that staff nurses working in medium-sized Korean hospitals worked 9.6 hours a day on average and had 1.5 breaks daily, including mealtime. The average number of days the nurses skipped a meal due to work during the last month was 6.1. With respect to skipping bathroom breaks due to work, staff nurses reported that they could not visit the bathroom 7.3 times during the last month. Regarding work conditions, staff nurses working in intensive care units reported having longer daily work hours and were more likely to work 10 hours or more per shift. Nurses with less than 3 years of experience reported longer daily work hours and fewer breaks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-596
Number of pages9
JournalWorkplace Health and Safety
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Ewha Womans University Research Grant of 2016.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).


  • Korean nurses
  • hospital staff nurses
  • occupational health
  • shift work
  • work condition
  • work hours


Dive into the research topics of 'Work Hours, Overtime, and Break Time of Registered Nurses Working in Medium-Sized Korean Hospitals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this