Nurse Schedules: Pros, Cons and Tips

A typical workday for a nurse is a 12-hour shift either from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Because of the long days, nurses usually work only three days a week. At the start of a shift, nurses will check in for a “handoff” from the nurse currently working in their area.

2. For breakfast at home, we have to leave for work too early. If you work the day shift, you must arrive at work by 6:30 a.m. If you arrive even one minute late, you allegedly lose 15 minutes of pay. (That might be a urban myth, but I won’t check to see. ) To make matters worse, the cafeteria is typically closed by the time we receive report, finish introducing ourselves, and evaluate our patients. I can’t understand why we’re not all skinny….

3. We get home too late to eat dinner. Our shift for day shift workers ends just after 7 o’clock. That’s too late to cook, and by the time you get home, it’s likely that your entire family has already eaten dinner. Even if someone left you a plate, you won’t feel like eating even though it has been hours since your last break. You can have one good thing after 7 o’clock, and you can have it with or without salt on the rim.

5. Alternating weekends. This makes me want to throw up in my mouth. I don’t want to work any weekends. However, nobody cares that the rest of my family is at home enjoying their day off together because on Saturday and Sunday, people still need to be taken care of. I know it makes me cry a river, but I still detest working them.

6. Holidays. Because it’s common knowledge, it may surprise non-healthcare workers, but someone DOES have to work on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day, Labor Day, and all other holidays. When my daughter was younger, I would simply tell a lie and claim that Christmas Day was the following day, but now that she is counting down the days, that trick is no longer effective.

7. No set break times. It’s a shame that your patient needs an epidural because the cafeteria is open. You missed breakfast, which is a shame because the doctor is making rounds. You take a break when you can, but let’s be honest: it isn’t a break if people are still approaching you with inquiries and you can’t finish your sandwich because your patient needs to be given medication.

8. No guarantees. You never really know what you’ll be doing when you get to work. You might have to float to another unit. You might have completely different coworkers and work in a completely different area. Additionally, there is never any assurance regarding the type of patient you may be caring for. As soon as you leave their door, you pray that they’re kind, healthy, and avoid using the call light.

9. We can’t go home until the work is done. That makes sense, doesn’t it? In an ideal world, it might be. It becomes a constant game of “did I remember everything” when you’re trying to record everything you did, everything that happened, and everything the provider said to your patient. And this is with a normal patient. A change-of-shift emergency is when everything goes to hell. When that happens, you call your family and tell them not to wait up. ”.

10. Being put on call. It doesn’t sound so bad if you’re told you’re not needed, so you don’t have to report to work. But regrettably, that also means that you might get a call at any time of the day. To get the lowdown on what’s going on at the unit, you might covertly text your coworkers. You could attempt to estimate your chances of receiving the anticipated call. You just never know what the next admission might bring or if you’ll have to drag yourself to work when you thought you were home-free, no matter how hard you try to figure it out in your head.

Nurses Schedule 3 12hr shifts. Good or Bad? 8 Days Off In A Row!

Do different types of nurses work different schedules?

While the majority of nurses, particularly those who work in hospitals, work a standard 12-hour shift, some nursing positions necessitate other work schedules. In a typical doctor’s office, nurses work 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday.

Listed below are a few nursing positions that don’t call for 12-hour shifts:

What is a typical nurse schedule?

A nurse typically works a 12-hour shift, starting either at 7 a.m. m. to 7 p. m. or from 7 p. m. to 7 a. m. Due to the long shifts, nurses typically only work three days per week. Nurses check in to receive a “handoff” from the nurse who is already working in their area at the beginning of a shift. The new nurse is given details about their current patients’ medical histories, prescriptions, dosages, and any other pertinent health information.

For the remainder of their shift, a nurse provides patients with the necessary care, consults with doctors and other medical personnel, and records all patient information. A nurse must complete their “handoff” to the following nurse on shift once their shift is over. Even though providing any necessary patient care may extend beyond the allotted twelve hours, a nurse’s shift is over once those tasks are completed.

Pros and cons to working a nurse’s schedule

Nursing requires committed individuals who deliver expert care. After completing demanding in-class and on-the-job training programs, nurses are granted the freedom to select a flexible schedule.

The following are some benefits and drawbacks of working a nurses schedule:

Pros of working a nurses schedule

Some pros of working a nurses schedule include:

Cons of working a nurses schedule

Potential cons of working a nurses schedule include the following:

Tips for effectively handling a nurse’s schedule

The following suggestions will assist you in managing a nurse’s rewarding and demanding schedule:

Make sleep a priority

Before a shift, make a plan to go to bed early so you can get plenty of rest. Prior to and following workdays, try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. If you work nights, schedule extra sleep time on your days off so that your body has time to adjust and experience deeper sleep.

Build time into your first day off for recovery

Plan to spend the majority of your first day off relaxing and taking time for yourself after several days of long shifts. Keep your to-do list brief these days and save the heavier lifting for another time. This day is ideal for exercising, spending time with family, or engaging in hobbies.

Work two days in a row instead of three

It can be more exhausting and difficult to recover from working three long days in a row. You might be better able to handle the demanding pace of the long shifts if you can spread out your work week so that you only work two days at once and the third after a few days off.

Eat healthy snacks and a balanced diet

Healthy food equals healthy fuel for longs work hours. What you eat matters because nurses frequently have brief breaks or have their meals interrupted by patient emergencies. Long shifts require energy, which lean protein, whole grains, and dark, leafy greens provide. During their hectic work hours, nurses can reap the greatest health benefits by snacking on nuts, fruit, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates.

Be mindful of the final hours of your shift

Even though nurses are accustomed to working long hours, fatigue can set in, especially near the end of a shift. Plan ways to counteract the physical and mental exhaustion as your shift comes to an end. This could entail getting an additional cup of coffee in between patients or having an energy bar as you record patient data.


What is typical nurse schedule?

Depending on their employers, nurses may work 8-, 10-, or 12-hour shifts. Nursing staff must typically work 8-hour shifts in private practices, while rehabilitation facilities may offer shifts between 8 and 10 hours. The likelihood that nursing shifts at agencies and in hospitals will last 12 hours is highest.

Do nurses work 3 days a week?

The majority of nurses do not enjoy living as four-day weekend warriors despite the fact that twelve-hour shifts typically translate into three-day work weeks.

How many hours a week does a nurse work?

The length of the shifts, not the three shifts, is the issue. Most days for nurses are 16+ hour days. These endless hours are damaging to your health.

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