Is it time to pull the plug on 12-hour shifts?: Part 1. The evidence.

Work & Health Research Center, Department of Family and Community Health, University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.
The Journal of nursing administration (Impact Factor: 1.37). 03/2010; 40(3):100-2. DOI: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e3181d0414e
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Shift durations of 12 hours or more are now ubiquitous in hospitals, with currently working staff nurses reporting satisfaction with this shift length, although others who prefer shorter work hours have generally left hospital nursing. Nurse administrators are beginning to question the wisdom of having nurses work extended hours. In part 1 of this 2-part series, the authors provide an update on recent findings that challenge the current scheduling paradigm that supports unsafe long work hours. Part 2 discusses obstacles that nurse administrators face when they "buck the 12-hour trend" and offers guidance for introducing work schedule changes.