Analysis

Overtime in nursing: saying no and prioritising work-life balance

Most nurses work beyond their hours, often unpaid, but relying on staff goodwill to cover staff shortages is damaging for retention, well-being and care quality

Most nurses work beyond their hours, often unpaid, but relying on staff goodwill to cover staff shortages is damaging for retention, well-being and care quality

  • Long hours, fatigue and lack of rest breaks or time to recuperate between shifts are associated with an increased risk of errors, says the RCN
  • In its annual survey, only four out of ten nurses said they have a good work-life balance
  • A resolution at next month’s RCN congress will call for an investigation into the effect of working extra hours on nurses’ health and well-being

Nurses working longer than their set hours is not a problem for only a minority – it is the norm.

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