Guidelines for Scheduling Nursing Shifts

Registered nurses used to work for 8 hours per shift only. It is no longer true today since nurses now work on 12-hour shifts.

There are many reasons why many facilities and nurses favor working 12 hours, but those who advocate for 8-hour shifts contend that there is a lack of effectiveness and safety for shifts that go longer than 10 hours.

Here are some considerations when creating your nursing work schedule.

There are time when becaue of patient needs or staffing demands, a nurse can actually be working for more than 12 hours. Even if the nurses schedule has ended, nurses have no choice but to work past it. Registered nurses are not protected by any work-hour policy in the country. Perhaps the schedule states a 12-hour shift for a nurse but many times they work more than 13 hours.

The strain of long shifts can lead to errors. The likelihood of errors is increased when nurses work longer hours.

You don’t expose yourself to injuries or burn out if you follow an 8-hour shift. There are many workplace injuries that happen because nurses work long hours and so they lack sleep and have slower reaction times. Research has shown that nurses who work more than 10 hours will more likely experience burnout.

Nurses are important to get patients the care that they need. Without nurses, patients will suffer from lack of medical attention and care.

These are less turnover for patients if nurses have 12-hour shifts. A tired nurse who has to work overtime will not be able to properly take care of her patients.

Long shifts can impact nurses’ health negatively. With longer shifts there are fewer workdays and less time commuting to work. There is more flexibility with longer shifts. You can have longer time at home if you work longer shifts. You can be home for several hours a day if you have an 8-hour shift. Four-day weekends are given to nurses who work for 12-hour shifts. With 12-hour shifts there is scheduling flexibility for your nurses. Absenteeism is reduced, retention is increased, and morale is boosted.

Longer shifts are easier to work with from a management view. You only need to schedule two shifts a day. There will be varied with start and end times with shorter shift. Both staff and management will find it confusing. An employee time clock should be used to keep track of employees’ work hours.

Each organization will have a different nursing shift. The considerations given above should help you think about how shifts affect your staff, your patients, and your bottom line.

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employee time clock employee time clock employee time clock
employee time clock employee time clock employee time clock
employee time clock

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