Outnumbering physicians six to one, nurses spend more time with patients and in many ways they are the heart of American health care. And with medical insurance now expanded to cover millions of new patients, the pressure on nurses (as all of health care) is growing.
One concern is the long shifts (12- and 13-hour workdays are common), which among some nurses are popular, because it may mean fewer days per week. But the extended shifts are also associated with increased levels of burnout and patient dissatisfaction. And that's a real concern.