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Nursing Work Conditions at ANCC-Rated Hospitals Studied

Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, August 23, 2010

To examine the issue, a data analysis was conducted using the Nurses Worklife and Health Study with responses from the 837 nurses working in 171 hospitals (14 MRP and 157 non-MRP facilities).

Nurses in the MRP hospitals were found to be less likely to report jobs that included mandatory overtime or on-call, but the hours worked did not actually differ. While these nurses reported significantly lower physical demands, the mean measures for MRP hospital nurses and non-MRP nurses were similar, they said.

What appeared to be a common factor among nurses in MRP and non-MRP facilities were long hours and extensive use of overtime, Trinkoff says.

However, it doesn't need to remain this way: "Because [the program] was originally founded to help retain nurses, it could be an opportunity to think about ways of bringing people back into the workforce," Trinkoff says. "Many people have left because of the schedules....[but] I think there are opportunities to bring people back in?if we're a little more creative or offering choices of the work hours."

It may mean looking for a type of schedule that "brings in a whole new demographic of persons back," Trinkoff says. This could mean trying out more flexible hours and ensuring nurses at least get a break during the day by bringing in a nurse, for instance, from 10 am to 2 pm to relieve them.

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