Many people wonder what type of shifts nurses work. Do all nurses work 12-hour shifts?
The simple answer to this question is NO!
This is one of the great things about the nursing profession. This career offers a wide variety of work schedules. Let me elaborate:
- Nurses can work 8, 10, or 12 hour-shifts.
- They can work the traditional Monday-Friday 9-5 pm shifts with weekends off or various times throughout the week while rotating the weekends.
- Many nurses work days, nights, or just weekends. In addition, the may work a part-time, full-time, or as needed (PRN) schedule.
A nurse’s work schedule really depends on the healthcare facility and industry in which they work. If a nurse works as a floor nurse in a hospital setting, they’ll probably work 12-hour shifts 3-4 days a week. Many nurses work in hospital settings, which is why many people assume nurses always work 12-hour shifts.
However, nurses who work outside a hospital setting usually have different work hours. For instances, a school nurse or a nurse who works in a clinic will more than likely work 8-hour shifts Monday-Friday.
Now, there are pros and cons of working a 12-hour shift. Let’s look at them:
- Work less throughout the week and have more days off
- Allows for more flexibility with your personal time (example: easier to schedule a vacation and if you do it strategically you can use less PTO (personal time off)
- Less driving back and forth to your job or paying for transportation
- Long shifts that don’t allow for flexibility on the days you work. Example: when you get up, you go straight to work, work all day, come home exhausted and sleep. You will not have much time to run errands, spend time with family, or attend events on the days you work.
- Even though you work less, it takes time to recover after working three 12-hour shifts in a row.
- The long shifts can be very tiring, especially if you’re having a bad day (those 12-hour shifts can sometimes feel like they are going by very slowly)
What are the pros and cons of working a shorter shift like an 8-hour shift?
- Shifts are shorter
- Time for other activities after work
- Work more days during the week
- Requires more money for transportation and lunch….gas etc.
So, there you have it! Not all nurses work 12-shifts but can work various hours, which makes the nursing profession very appealing. It’s important to remember that 12-hour shifts along with shorter work shifts have their own pros and cons.
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