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According to NYU Nursing, new nurses work overtime, long shifts, and sometimes a second job. More specifically, most new nurses work 12-hour shifts, 13 percent hold a second job, and nearly half of new nurses work overtime. 

This data comes from a new study by researchers from the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing which found that nearly half of newly licensed nurses work overtime, while more than one in 10 have a side job, and these trends have remained stable over the past decade. Recent changes in health policy have had implications for nurses and the hours they work like the Affordable Care Act and the recession which has delayed retirement for some nurses. Researchers at NYU set out to understand what these changes have meant for the newest generation of nurses.

The study analyzed surveys from more than 4,500 newly licensed nurses in 13 states and Washington, DC, collecting information on nurse demographics, education, work attributes, and attitudes. Nurses were asked about their work schedule, daily shift length, weekly work hours, overtime, and whether they worked a second job. Four cohorts of nurses were surveyed and compared to observe changes over time.

Amy Witkoski Stimpfel, PhD, RN, assistant professor at NYU Meyers and the study’s lead author, tells, “On the positive side, we observed that new nurses appear to be working a similar proportion of 12-hour shifts as more experienced nurses based on other studies, and the majority of nurses were working the shift and schedule that they preferred. We also did not find meaningful increases in overall weekly work hours or overtime hours compared to previous studies. At the same time, our study did not reveal major changes in when or how long new nurses are working that could enhance patient safety and well-being among nurses.”

To learn more about NYU Nursing’s recently published study which found that nearly half of newly licensed nurses work overtime and more than one in 10 have a side job, visit here.

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