What Is Nursing Overtime?

Nursing overtime hours are all the hours that are worked outside of normal hours. This usually refers to anything over 40 hours per week. Many nursing job opportunities are not being filled, which means employed nurses have to pick up the slack and work extra hours. Today, nurses are working more hours than ever, which means that nursing overtime is happening at high rates. 

Overtime for nurses may be mandatory or optional. Nursing overtime is usually mandatory because of current healthcare worker shortages. There are arguments for and against the usage of overtime. 

Mandatory overtime for nurses

Healthcare facilities will occasionally demand that their nurses work overtime hours. These are overtime hours that the nurse cannot opt out of. The Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) maintains that overtime should only ever be voluntary. However, this hasn’t yet become the norm on a federal nationwide level. Overtime laws vary depending on the state where you are work.

Many factors may lead to mandatory nursing overtime. Some hospitals or care facilities may have a shortage of nurses, causing employed nurses to pick up the slack and work additional hours. A situation where a critical disaster or accident has happened may also force a nurse to work overtime. These events usually take place due to an influx of patients who present injuries and/or casualties. 

Nursing overtime issues

As mentioned before, mandatory overtime is more commonplace than voluntary overtime. Some nurses welcome the extra hours, while some feel burdened by it. There is some controversy that surrounds overtime. The extra hours may cause a nurse to become fatigued and stressed, which may lead to higher amounts of medical error. 

Nursing overtime is not necessary at every healthcare facility, as healthcare facilities need nurses more than ever before. If you are seeking nursing jobs in the healthcare industry, visit our website. We post nursing job opportunities and healthcare advice daily. 

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