Nursing

Website spotlight: Nurses say they need a break; why leadership should listen

Nurse Leader Insider, September 20, 2010

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Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media, September 14th, 2010

There has been a spate of news articles in the last few months about nurse protests and threats of strikes. A frayed work environment lies at the heart of many of these confrontations, with a workforce that feels it is stretched too thin. Nurses are speaking up about overwork and short staffing and the effect they feel it has on patient care.

Nurses at a Veterans Administration hospital in Augusta, GA, planned a protest claiming 16-hour workdays that they said threatened patient care. Facing a budget deficit of several million dollars, the VA nurses association said the hospital was forced to slow hiring and extend nurses workdays.

The Washington State Nurses Association successfully sued two healthcare organizations over missed rest breaks. The rulings affirmed the employers’ responsibility to provide uninterrupted rest breaks.

These incidents, and others, are surprising during a weak economy, when jobs are scarce—particularly for new grads—and employers in all professions find many people are simply grateful to have a job.

Editor's note: To read the rest of this free article visit Nurses say they need a break; why leadership should listen found in the Reading Room at www.StrategiesForNurseManagers.com.


Do you need continuing education (CE) credits? Check out this month’s CE article about universal gloving being a viable alternative for contact precautions or visit our archives and view a compilation of CE articles (marked with an asterisk).



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