Nursing Management

You are the manager of an intensive care unit. Many of the nurses have approached you requesting 12-hour shifts. Other nurses have approached you stating that they will transfer out of the unit if 12-hour shifts are implemented. You are exploring the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of using both 8- and 12-hour shifts so that staff could select which type of scheduling they wanted.

DQ: Would this create a scheduling nightmare? Will you limit the number of 12-hour shifts that staff could work in a week? Would you pay overtime for the last 4 hours of the 12-hour shift? Would you allow staff to choose freely between 8- and 12-hour shifts? What other problems may result from mixing 8- and 12-hour shifts?

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Answer preview

The choice to pay or not to pay overtime would be determined by the federal and state laws as well as the company policies. For instance, if the hospital is in California, I would pay overtime because state law requires employers to pay one and a half times more for every extra hour in 12-hour shifts. Also, Flo, Pallesen, Åkerstedt, Magerøy, Moen, Grønli, & Bjorvatn (2013) note that 12-hour shifts result in lower job morale and higher incidences of negligence from nurses. So, paying extra for extra hours seems like an excellent way to motivate those who bid on longer shifts. I would allow staff to choose between the shifts through an objective bidding process.

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Nursing Management