Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 13(2) May 2000 : 22-27.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2000.16286

What do Nurses Mean by Workload and Work Overload?

A. P. Gaudine


This paper describes 31 nurses' views of workload and work overload, identifying ten dimensions of workload and four dimensions of work overload. Findings suggest that researchers and nurse administrators do not include all of the dimensions that nurses think of when they use the word "workload". Nurse administrators who listen to nurses' experience of workload may be able to find strategies to help nurses deal with their workload. The theme of lack of control ran through the nurses' accounts of work overload. To retain nurses, employers need to allow nurses some control over their workload and some time to include in their nursing the things they enjoy the most.



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