Evaluation of 12-hour shifts on a cardiology nursing development unit

Br J Nurs. 2000 Nov;9(20):2169-74. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2000.9.20.2169.


The first part of this two-part article discussed the implementation of 12-hours shifts using a locally devised nursing development unit (NDU) framework (Vol 9(19): 2095-9). This article, the second part, discusses the results of a survey to evaluate the 12-hour shifts, the problems encountered during the implementation of 12-hours shifts, the solutions and the NDU framework as described in the first part of the article. A qualitative design to the postal survey was chosen with the resulting data being subjected to a content analysis. Data triangulation compared survey results with incident reports and sickness records. The limitations of the survey included having the change agent analysing the data, the sampling method and being unable to pilot the questionnaire. The results indicated an improvement in the quality of patient care, although this is difficult to measure, a pacing of workload throughout the day, and tiredness during, after and at the end of a stretch of shifts. Other results centred on staff morale, social life, student nurses' experience and night shifts. The solutions to identified problems included the employment of two twilight nurses to help the night staff during the busy early evening period. As a requirement of the NDU framework, standards were produced from the survey results, as this would allow subsequent audit of the 12-hour shift system. The recommendations from this survey included the dissemination of results both locally and nationally to expand the body of nursing knowledge and to promote practice based on the best available evidence.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Cardiology Service, Hospital*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Morale
  • Night Care
  • Nursing Administration Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / supply & distribution*
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling*
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Sick Leave
  • Students, Nursing / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom
  • Work Schedule Tolerance*
  • Workforce
  • Workload