Impact of Extended Working Hours For Nurses

Impact of Extended Working Hours For Nurses


Thesis statement

Impact of working for more hours for nurses during their shift


Should Nurses Work For More Hours During Their Shifts?

The nature of work for nurses has been shrouded with many uncertainties. This essay intends to examine whether nurses ought to work for more hours during their shifts. It will establish both positive and negative effects of working for more hours on the nurses’ performance. The essay will present argumentative discussion regarding the aftermath effects on quality of work or services rendered by nurses when they work more than normal. It will be of great significance to the nursing professionals in examining and strategizing their nature of work depending on their own perceptions. Whether working for more hours during the shifts of nurses has impact on their performance will be based on the outcomes of this argumentative essay.

Thesis statement

The sole aim of this essay is to determine whether extending working hours for nurses has impact on their performance or not. It is internationally recognized that the normal accredited working hours is always between 8 to 12 hours a day. However, in the case of nurses sometimes they have to extend beyond their scheduled working hours. Therefore, the question remains whether nurse should work for more hours during their shifts or not. Nyamuziga, L., (2018) examined that nurses are expected to give quality services to their patients at all time. During their duties however, work demand sometimes increase and they are forced to work extra hours. This has led to massive turnover of nurses in hospitals such as Southwest Michigan community hospital. Nyamuziga, L.,(2018) went ahead to state that long working hours for nurses leads to burnout.

Rajan, D., (2017) cited that labor laws provide for 8 working hours across all employment settings. However, in most cases the stated working hours is never followed strictly. In his study, Rajan, D., (2017) argued that most family issues, depression, job dissatisfaction, inability to leave duty on time, destructive behaviors at work place, are some of the effects associated with extended working hours. Kleinpell and Sessler, (2016) revealed in their studies that most nurses suffer burnout in their duties due to shortage of nurses in their hospitals.

This essay intends to examine whether it is necessary for nurses to for more hours on their shifts. Few articles have shown the negative side of working for more hours. The question that lingers now is how working for long hours affect the performance of nurses in providing quality services to their patients. It is also to establish whether working for more hours for nurses accrue any positive benefits for them.

Impacts of working for more hours for nurses during their shifts

In this essay, it will answer the question of whether nurses should work for more hours on their shifts by examining the impacts of long working hours. The following are the impacts of long working hours;

Burnout at work place

Craigei, et al., (2016) associated burnout to working for longer hours than expected. He noted that the concept of burn can be described by lack of motivation to perform a task, emotional and physical exhaustion. He argued that nursing staff experience stressful moments in their work place due to long interaction with patients who some are in critical conditions while others at their lowest moment in life. Smith, et al.,(2018) cited that constant exposure to stressful working conditions can result into nurses feeling isolated and detached with their environment. All these are attributed to burnout due to long working hours. Burnout definitely impact negatively on the quality of service offered by a nurse.



Staff sickness and absence

Montes, et al., (2020) studied on the impact of extended working hours on staff sickness and absence. In their paper they studied the status of mental health nurses who faces more stress than those in physical health care settings. They argued that mental health workers faces numerous challenges in their day – to – day operations ranging from dealing with violent patients to those in deteriorating conditions. All these surmountable pressures leads to absence and sickness among them. This is due to long engagement with stressful working conditions. When more of the nurses get sick or absent themselves from work implies that there will be shortage therefore affecting negatively the services provided by a hospital.

Financial gain

As much as there are negative effects of working for more hours there are also positive side of it. Crew S, et al., (2017) studied both negative and positive effects of working for long hours. In his study he stated that most workers prefer working excessively for long hours due to financial gains. Economic conditions and social life force staffs to accept working for long hours because they are certain of more pay. Motivation for more financial gain trigger nurses to put their best despite stressful working environment.


Working for more hours than scheduled can only impact negatively on the performance of a nurse if it is done for a long period of time. It can be concluded that nurses should not work for more hours on their shifts. For a hospital to maintain the standard of its services their nurses must work normal hours to avoid exhaustion. Long working hours has more damages than benefits therefore should be avoided at all cost.