The 12-hour shift: the views of nurse educators and students

Authors

  • Norma Reid BSc MSc DPhil FSS,

    1. * Pro Vice Chancellor, Coventry University, Coventry, England
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  • Gillian Robinson BSocSc Msc,

    1. Lecturer in Social Administration and Policy, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland
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  • Chris Todd BA MA PhD CPsychol AFBPS

    Corresponding author
    1. Senior Research Associate and Acting Director of Health Services Research Group, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England
      Dr C. Todd. Health Services Research Group, Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 2SR, England.
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  • *

    This research was conducted whilst the authors were at the Centre for Applied Health Studies, University of Ulster at Coleraine, Northern Ireland.

Dr C. Todd. Health Services Research Group, Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 2SR, England.

Abstract

Interest in 12-hour nursing shifts has been renewed in response to demands for improved cost-effectiveness in the UK National Health Service. But the effects of the shift on nursing education are unclear. We report surveys of the attitudes of student nurses and nurse educators towards 12-hour shifts. Learners are reasonably positive about 12-hour shifts, but this preference is based on social rather than professional benefits. A reported effect of fatigue on home study is evident. Very negative views about the 12-hour shift are held by the group of educators. Their criticisms appear to be primarily organizational, but they are unequivocal that learning is detrimentally affected. Thus, even if students appear to like this shift pattern, serious concerns are raised by these findings about the impact of the shift on nursing education.

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