Evaluation of the 12-hour shift trial in a regional intensive care unit

J Nurs Manag. 2007 Oct;15(7):711-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2934.2006.00737.x.


Introduction: Given the shortage of critical care nurses, emphasis has been placed upon improving their working lives through the implementation of flexible work hours.

Method: This descriptive exploratory study evaluated the effects of the implementation of the 12-hour roster in a regional intensive care unit (ICU). Staff (n = 19) completed a survey 12 weeks following the implementation of the 12-hour roster.

Results: The study demonstrated widespread acceptance (92%) positive impact on physical and psychological well-being and increased work satisfaction (58%) for the nursing participants. Similarly, nurses working both the 8- and 12-hour rosters (75%), the doctors and allied health care workers all identified increased continuity of patient care as an outcome of the 12-hour shift. Participants strongly agreed that 12-hour rostering was a good recruitment (67%) and retention (75%) strategy.

Conclusion: In an environment with considerable shortages of experienced critical care nurses, the use of flexible shift patterns such as the 12-hour roster was a positive recruitment and recruitment strategy.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Communication
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Nurse Administrators / psychology
  • Nursing Administration Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital* / organization & administration
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital* / psychology
  • Occupational Health
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Queensland
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Work Schedule Tolerance
  • Workforce
  • Workload