POSITION-SHARING IN NURSING PRACTICE
Increasing conflicts between professional and family responsibilities are causing nurses to seek solutions that will enable them to perform better in each area (Kane, 1995, p. 5). One suggested and controversial solution to resolve such conflicts is position-sharing. This issue is investigated.
The Concept of Position Sharing in Nursing
The problems besetting nursing practice, as described above, are serious and demand attention (Betancourt & Lombardi, 1990, p. 47). Effective interventions and strategies are required to address these problems. One strategy that has been suggested is the application of the position-sharing concept to the practice of nursing. Proponents of this strategy contend that position-sharing will enable professional nurses to deal more effectively with conflicts between professional and family obligations, thereby reducing the potential for performance impairment. Proponents also contend that the phenomenon of professional burn-out in nursing practice will recede in the face of an effective position-sharing strategy. Alternatively, those opposed to the application of the position-sharing concept to nursing practice contend that the quality of care will deteriorate because nurses will not perform as effectively in what will essentially be part-time positions.
Over the past two decades flexible work scheduling increasingly has been introduced into organizational environments (Galen, Palmer, Cuneo, & Maremont, 1993, p. 81). Flexible work scheduling includes such concepts as flextime, the four-day week, and job-sharing, among others.
Approximately 53 percent of American families are dual-income households (Tarrant, 1992, pp. 18-21). Additionally, one of every four families with children is headed by a single parent. These household characteristics demonstrate the great and growing need for working hours flexibility in the United States. Organizational a...