12-hour shifts: love them or loathe them?

Compressed working hours may afford you more time off, but pose questions about safety

Longer shifts may buy nurses more time away from work, but at potential cost to staff well-being and patient safety

  • Shift patterns that seem to promote nurses’ work-life balance don’t necessarily do the same for their health
  • Know your employment rights – entitlement to proper breaks on a long shift and minimum rest period away from work
  • Healthy eating is an enduring challenge for shift-working nurses. Get expert nutritional advice and practical tips

If there is one issue likely to provoke debate in the nursing community, it’s 12-hour shifts.

Squeezing longer shifts into fewer days is popular with many nurses, who find the arrangement convenient for childcare, caring responsibilities


Want to read more?

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Nursing Standard
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?