8s vs 12s; night shift or day shift? - page 2

by wish_me_luck 6,917 Views | 30 Comments

What do you think is better for new nurses? Is it better to do 5 8 hr shifts or 3 12 hr shifts? Is it easier to learn on nights or days? I kind of want to do 5 8 hour shifts that way I am going everyday vs 3 days and then... Read More


  1. 0
    I think just about everyone will have different opinions. I like my 3 12 hr shifts on nights. I used to work 8 hr days which I HATED because out of 9 days i would only have 1 day off b/c we had to work every other weekend. It was awful. I was more tired then than the 12 hrs I work now.
  2. 2
    As far as learning as a new nurse, I would vote for days. They are more heavily staffed. Both nurses and CNAs. There is more ancillary staff. On any given day the above makes more time for learning. While I don't like working with MDs, new nurses would get to see them, and gauge their personalities better than over the phone at night.
    My facility tends to orient the new nurses on the shifts they will be working, which means mostly nights. We almost never have the extra staff to truly give the attention a new nurse deserves. Some nights it's simply a matter of grabbing the new nurse and saying "follow me" with no orientation possible.
    Orientation/learning, I'd vote for day shift.
    Working? Three twelve hr night shifts a week. YaY!
    readerwriter8 and JMBnurse like this.
  3. 0
    I think 3 12's on nights is easier to learn than on the busy day shift. I have so many friends who have told me that they felt overwhelmed and run ragged working 5 days a week in the beginning. You are usually behind and working over your shift in the beginning anyway. I think that it is best to get a break to unwind and do something besides work for more than a few hours a week.
  4. 1
    go for the 12h shifts for sure, I work nights (6:00pm-6:30am) and just finished my work week this morning (Monday-Wednesday)....this schedule gives you a real life outside of your paid gig....4 days off to play, sleep, go to school etc, etc....best to orient at night in my opinion, can be a little less hectic and can be a nice break-in for a new grad....
    readerwriter8 likes this.
  5. 0
    I had to orientate on days for a month before I switched to nights. I was hired for nights as a new grad, I prefer nights as I'm not a morning person. I was also a night shift LPN for 7 years. Up until now, my 7th week of orientation, I've worked 3 12hr shifts and hated it. In the end it's nice to have them done and out of the way, but in the midst of it I found that I couldn't do anything but sleep and go to work. I never saw my kids, hubby and I were two ships passing in the night. It works better for me to have 8hr shifts, and they're not all in a row. I'm happier, my brain can function, I sleep better, eat healthier. IMO, it's best to orientate on the opposite shift 1st if you can before you go to your hired shift.
  6. 0
    For the sake of learning, I think 5x8 is preferable only because you have less off-time per week. I also think days provide better learning opportunities and a larger safety net for new nurses because there are more people around.

    From a personal preference viewpoint, I'll take 3x12 over 5x8 any time.
  7. 0
    I was thinking 5x8s were better for learning too because you are continuously doing it.

    I know when I teched, I did 3x12 and I tried to do like 2 days in a row then have break then 1 day. Some days it was nice, other times, I wished that I just did the other 1 day. That way I had a longer break.

    I am trying to figure out which would be better. Normally, I am a day person but lately, I haven't been sleeping well and end up staying up (sometimes until 3:30 am; then try and get back on schedule and wake back up at like 7:30 or 8:00 am) So, some days I think I might do okay on nights (8 hr shifts) and other days I like the idea of days due to more people being around.
  8. 5
    I love my 12-hour shifts and the four days off per week that result from this type of schedule. I would never voluntarily work five 8-hour shifts per week in nursing unless I was on the verge of homelessness.

    Sorry, but having to do bedside nursing five days per week would drive me insane.
    DutchRN09, readerwriter8, Jessy_RN, and 2 others like this.
  9. 0
    Quote from wish_me_luck
    I was thinking 5x8s were better for learning too because you are continuously doing it.
    OTOH, 3x12 gives you a day or two to invest in doing case studies of the patients you had without giving up all your time off.

    Mostly, I'd just get any job you're able without too much concern for schedule at this point.

    You just need to start building some experience.
  10. 0
    I think it depends on your own rythms, the problem with working nights is that most people do not get good sleep during in the day and this takes a toll on your general health however, there are benefits to working nights ie: not having to deal with all the beauracracy....however, as a new nurse I would not think that night shift is a good place, its usually under staffed and there are less resources around to help you problem solve.
    Most of us have worked nights at some time or another in our careers for a vast array of reasons, however, personally I find that 3 12's works better for me, I like having time during the week to get errands done without having to fight the crowds of 9-5 people at the grocery stores and other places on the weekends.
    Find what works best for you and your family.


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