What they found
- New nurses work an average of 39.4 hours a week, predominantly in 12-hour shifts
- More than 13 percent report having a second job
- New nurses prefer 12-hour day shifts
- About 12 percent of nurses worked mandatory overtime (less than one hour per week)
- Nearly half of the nurses reported voluntary overtime (three hours per week)
- Overtime hours on the rise in recent cohort
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While new nurses were working a similar proportion of 12-hour shifts as veteran nurses, "the study's findings on overtime were particularly troubling, given that previous research has established associations between working overtime and patient outcomes," researchers noted in a university article on the study.
For example, overtime, though it has its monetary benefits, has been associated with increased medication errors, occupational injuries, nursing burnout and overall job dissatisfaction.
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Study co-author and NYU Meyers professor Christine Korver urged nurse managers and policymakers to “guard against mandatory overtime hours.”
Read the full study at onlinelibrary.wiley.com.