A new typology of work schedules: Evidence from a cross-sectional study among nurses working in residential elder care

V. Peters*, A. de Rijk, J. Engels, Y. Heerkens, F. Nijhuis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Web of Science)


BACKGROUND: Work schedules contribute substantially to the health and well-being of nurses. Too broad typologies are used in research that do not meet the current variety in work schedules. OBJECTIVE: To develop a newtypology for nurses' work schedules based on five requirements and to validate the typology. METHODS: This study is based on a questionnaire returned by 498 nurses (response 51%) including questions regarding nurses' work schedule, socio-demographic, and family characteristics and their appraisal of the work schedule. Frequencies of the different schedules were computed to determine the typology. To validate the typology, differences between the types were tested with ANOVAs, Chi(2) and Kruskal-Wallis tests. RESULTS: Five main types can be distinguished based on predetermined requirements and frequencies, namely: (1) fixed early shift, (2) rotating two shift pattern without night shift, (3) rotating three shift pattern, (4) fixed and rotating two shift pattern including night shift, and (5) fixed normal day or afternoon shifts. Nurses in these types of work schedule differed significantly with respect to hours worked, days off between shifts, age, education, years in the job, commuting time, contribution to household income, satisfaction with work schedule and work schedule control. Especially nurses with type 3 schedules differed from other types. CONCLUSIONS: A typology of five main types of work schedules is proposed. Content validity of the typology is sufficient and the new typology seems useful for research on work-related aspects of nursing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-33
JournalWORK-A Journal of Prevention Assessment & Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Work schedule
  • typology shiftwork
  • satisfaction with irregular work times
  • socio-demographic
  • family

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