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Association of 12 h shifts and nurses’ job satisfaction, burnout and intention to leave: findings from a cross-sectional study of 12 European countries
  1. Chiara Dall'Ora1,
  2. Peter Griffiths1,
  3. Jane Ball1,
  4. Michael Simon2,3,
  5. Linda H Aiken4
  1. 1National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (Wessex), University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  2. 2Inselspital Bern University Hospital, Nursing Research Unit, Bern, Switzerland
  3. 3Institute of Nursing Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  4. 4Center for Health Outcomes & Policy Research, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Chiara Dall'Ora; C.Dall'


Objectives 12 h shifts are becoming increasingly common for hospital nurses but there is concern that long shifts adversely affect nurses’ well-being, job satisfaction and intention to leave their job. The aim of this study is to examine the association between working long shifts and burnout, job dissatisfaction, dissatisfaction with work schedule flexibility and intention to leave current job among hospital nurses.

Methods Cross-sectional survey of 31 627 registered nurses in 2170 general medical/surgical units within 488 hospitals across 12 European countries.

Results Nurses working shifts of ≥12 h were more likely than nurses working shorter hours (≤8) to experience burnout, in terms of emotional exhaustion (adjusted OR (aOR)=1.26; 95% CI 1.09 to 1.46), depersonalisation (aOR=1.21; 95% CI 1.01 to 1.47) and low personal accomplishment (aOR=1.39; 95% CI 1.20 to 1.62). Nurses working shifts of ≥12 h were more likely to experience job dissatisfaction (aOR=1.40; 95% CI 1.20 to 1.62), dissatisfaction with work schedule flexibility (aOR=1.15; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.35) and report intention to leave their job due to dissatisfaction (aOR=1.29; 95% CI 1.12 to 1.48).

Conclusions Longer working hours for hospital nurses are associated with adverse outcomes for nurses. Some of these adverse outcomes, such as high burnout, may pose safety risks for patients as well as nurses.


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