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Description: Nurse overtime has been used to handle normal variations in patient census and to control chronic understaffing. By 2010, 16 states had regulations to limit nurse overtime. We examined mandatory overtime regulations and their association with mandatory and voluntary overtime and total hours worked by newly licensed registered nurses (NLRNs). For this secondary data analysis, we used a panel survey of NLRNs; the final dataset consisted of 1,706 NLRNs. Nurses working in states that instituted overtime regulations after 2003 or in states that restricted any type of mandatory overtime had a lower probability of experiencing mandatory overtime than those nurses working in states without regulations. Nurses who worked in states with mandatory overtime regulations reported fewer total hours worked per week. The findings of this study provided insight into how mandatory overtime regulations were related to nurse mandatory and voluntary overtime and the total number of hours worked. Future research should investigate institutions’ compliance with regulations and the impact of regulations on nurse and patient outcomes.

Author1: Sung-Heui Bae, University of Buffalo School of Nursing
Author2: Carol S. Brewer, University of Buffalo School of Nursing
Author3: Christine T. Kovner, New York University College of Nursing

Primary Contact Person:
Name: Sung-Heui Bae
Email: [email protected]

Complete Citation, if published:
Bae, S.H., Brewer, C.S., & Kovner, C.T. (2012). State mandatory overtime regulations and newly licensed nurses’ mandatory and voluntary overtime and total work hours. Nursing Outlook, 60(2), 60-71. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2011.06.006