Our April 4 cover story examines the pros and cons of the 12-hour shift. From increased schedule flexibility to sleep deprivation, nurses have long debated the costs and benefits of the long shift. Greater Philadelphia Tri-State recruiters share how the availability of this schedule impacts recruitment, retention and bedside care in their hospitals.
Maureen (Mickey) Mullin, RN, MSN, OCN, CHCR
Nursing Career Specialist
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia
When facilities started implementing 12-hour shifts, it was an effective recruitment tool. Nurses loved the benefit of working three days a week (36 hours) and receiving full-time benefits. Now that most hospitals use this model, many nurses dont see it as a recruitment effort, but rather as standard procedure.
Amy Taylor O’Brien
Director, HR Business Partners
Abington (Pa.) Memorial Hospital
Giving nurses the ability to work 12-hour shifts allows us to provide flexibility to our nursing staff to be able to work less than a normal 40-hour workweek and, in most cases, continue to receive benefits. Many nurses prefer the shorter workweek and ask for the 12-hour shifts. When we can accommodate the requests, the 12-hour shifts are a good recruitment and retention tool.
Susan Battaglia, RN
Director, Nurse Recruitment and Retention
AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Pomona, N.J.
At AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, we are all primarily using 12-hour shifts on our nursing units. Because it is something we have had for many years and is similar to other hospitals in our area, it is not a big recruitment advantage. It is a positive for staff who work three 12-hour shifts to maintain their full-time status. This gives them four days off a week, which works well with their schedules and home lives. We also have self-scheduling, which gives nurses extra flexibility. Though three 12-hour shifts can be physically demanding, the trade-off of having four days off is something nurses would not want to give up.