Voluntary overtime can promote continuity of care while giving nurses the option of working longer hours and earning more money.But because longer shifts from any cause can contribute to burnout, voluntary overtime should be limited.Getting to the root of nurse dissatisfaction Nurses leave their jobs for various reasons, some of which aren’t related to job dissatisfaction.
Forcing a nurse who may already be fatigued to work beyond her scheduled shift increases the likelihood of patient harm.
A fatigued nurse is more apt to make errors; the risk of errors triples when nurses work more than 12½ consecutive hours.
Job burnout reduces staff retention and creates more nursing vacancies, forcing the remaining nurses to work more overtime.
Thus, mandatory overtime increases nurse dissatisfaction and burnout, ultimately worsening the staffing shortage.
(See Mandatory overtime laws: An update in PDF format by clicking the download now button.) Multiple interventions are needed.