Nursing News: Mandating Caps on Overtime Can Drastically Improve Nurse Retention and Nurses’ Life Balance

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 21st, 2012

“Too much to do, too little time” is a phrase that most nurses know well. Nurse retention and life balance are highly affected by being over-worked.Nurse retention

State-mandated caps on nursing overtime hours improve patient safety and care quality, concluded a new study, reported Renal Business Today. The regulations prevented fatigue from long shifts and the associated errors that endanger the safety of patients and nurses.

In the 16 states regulating overtime as of 2010, newly registered nurses were 59% less likely to work mandatory overtime than those in unregulated states and worked an average of 50 fewer minutes per week, according to the RN Work Project study.

The study also found that limiting mandatory overtime enhanced nurse retention, enticing nurses to remain in their jobs and in the profession longer.

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