Nursing Working Hours Limitations

Topic: Nursing
Words: 291 Pages: 1

The State Board of Nursing should impose limitations on the number of hours nurses work in order to avoid the detrimental effects of overworked nurses. Unfortunately, many organizations purposefully understaff with the aim of increasing their profit margins. Imposing a governmental limit on the amount of hours nurses can legally work would ensure that this phenomenon does not occur and healthcare facilities hire enough employees to operate effectively. Studies have confirmed that most nurses work over the standard forty hours per week because of conformity to their workplace’s organizational culture, which has adverse effects on their work engagement and patient outcomes (Watanabe & Yamauchi, 2018; Zhu et al., 2019). When nurses are overworked, the likelihood of patient safety incidents increases by thirty percent, and patient mortality by forty percent (Fagerström et al., 2018). To protect nurses’ mental health and improve patient outcomes, the number of hours nurses work should be capped at forty hours per week.

The educational curriculum provided in universities makes potential nurses more cognizant of professional boundary issues because it delineates nurses’ exact responsibilities toward the patient. While nurses might become emotionally attached to patients, their primary responsibility is to improve the latter’s self-management, health status, and quality of life. The academic literature on person-centered healthcare particularly expresses how care providers need to respect patients’ individuality and prescribe a treatment plan reflective of their personal needs and preferences (Eklund et al., 2019). Furthermore, one of the formative factors of a positive care relationship is patients and nurses having similar expectations of intimacy, trust, and the holistic and technical knowledge of the nurse (Kiljunen et al., 2018). An academic overview such as this course clearly establishes nurses’ professional duties toward patients, which includes psychological support and technical knowledge.


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Fagerström, L., Kinnunen, M., & Saarela, J. (2018). Nursing workload, patient safety incidents and mortality: An observational study from Finland. BMJ Open, 8(4), e016367.

Kiljunen, O., Kankkunen, P., Partanen, P., & Välimäki, T. (2018). Family members’ expectations regarding nurses’ competence in care homes: A qualitative interview study. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 32(3), 1018-1026.

Watanabe, M., & Yamauchi, K. (2018). The effect of quality of overtime work on nurses’ mental health and work engagement. Journal of Nursing Management, 26(6), 679-688.

Zhu, X., Zheng, J., Liu, K., & You, L. (2019). Rationing of nursing care and its relationship with nurse staffing and patient outcomes: The mediation effect tested by structural equation modeling. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(10), 1672.

Nursing: Theory, Research, and Practice
Theories of Nursing and Hospital Models of Care