I am curious about how staffing and overtime works on your units? I work on an extremely busy Med surg unit in a large city that specializes in transplant(mostly liver). I often have 5 patients, and I work two 8s and two 12s a week. I am constantly (2-3x a week) being asked to either stay late on my 8 hour days or switch my shift the day of. I almost always turn down the offer, but usually feel guilty because I am close with my co workers and don't want to make anyone's day harder then it has to be. However, internally I get mad because my unit is NEVER staffed appropriately. When overtime is turned down, we almost always get a float nurse to fill the spot quite easily. I am a new nurse with 1 year of experience and often leave the hospital in a state of exhaustion due to the heaviness of our patients- so the thought of overtime makes me cringe. I am always willing to make switches with my co workers, stay late until my work is done, and lend a hand when things get rough...but I feel as though if I work more then 40 hours I am being spread too thin and I don't want to compromise the experience of my patients, or my sanity for that matter. There's a difference between an emergency and "whoops we don't have enough nurses- can you turn your 8 into a 12". So let me have it- should I feel guilty ?