Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Texas BON's Position Statement on Work Hours

The Texas Board of Nurses has drafted a new position statement on the hours nurses should work. This statement was drafted to address the problem of nurses working excessive hours and the impact that has on patient safety. Go to the board's website at or look in the January newsletter to access further information on the proposed statement. I hear frequently from nurses that are being forced to work more hours that they believe are safe and they fear termination if they refuse to work. This proposed statement will help to address those problems by giving support to the nurses.

Whenever I hear about excessive work hours for nurses, I am reminded of a student nurse that told me at a seminar that when he graduated, he planned to work 12 hours at one facility and then go across the street and work an additional shift of 8-10 hours!!! at another facility in order to make lots of money. He said that he was able to function quite well without much sleep and since there was no restriction on the amount of hours, he could work as long as he wanted to. He ignored the requirement that a nurse must be fit to accept an assignment because he said that whether he was fit or not did not depend on the number of hours he had been awake. He would not give me his name and he ignored any attempts to convince him of the potential danger. As I think about him, I hope that the reality of nursing kept him from fulfilling his plan.

On their website, the Texas BON has other position statements and guidelines to assist nurses and employers with understanding the practice requirements placed on GNs, LVNs, and RNs. Also, check my website for additional helpful articles at