8s vs 12s; night shift or day shift?

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    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 going a few days without plus I don't think it would be as exhausting. I personally like days but I would imagine nights might be easier for a new grad. What are your thoughts?
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  3. 30 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Im really curious about this too. I am a nurse tech and I work Sat/Sun 645p-7a and it's exhausting by the time I am done with it. Anytime I've worked 4 days in a row....super exhausting. It seems like nights are more relaxed(and weekends too) b/c the docs aren't around as much(depends what floor you work) so days may be good time to get used to dealing with the docs, listening to the docs discuss the condition, etc.
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    I personally don't like 5 8 hr shifts. I don't like getting up early every morning 5 days in a row. Plus if you need to get personal stuff done during the week you have to take PTO. However, the upside is we get holidays off. Honestly though, I would rather work 3 12's. I enjoy having extra days off. But everyone is different. I know that nurse's with children like the 5 days because it works out better for their schedule and they have off on weekends with their children.
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    I think it depends on the persons pleasure. I would prefer to have 3 12's on midnights. If I come in at 11 I can put the kids in bed and go to work. Then by the time I get off they will still be sleep. When I come home, I can wake them up for school. They will never even know I'm gone:-)
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    I would much rather work 3 12s. And those 5 8s are not necessarily Monday to Friday, so the weekends off argument isn't always (or even usually) valid. Plus you may not get a 7-3 shift. Lots of new nurses are put on 3-11. For me that would be the worst shift of all.

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    mzmae, readerwriter8, Gradius, and 1 other like this.
  8. 7
    3-11 is such a garbage shift. Honestly if your gonna F up my day by making me come in at 3 you might as well make it 11a and get the punishment over in 3 days so I can actually have 4 useful full days to myself.
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    I started out as a new grad doing 2 8s and 2 12s, night shift. I hated it...partly because my body doesn't do well on nightshift, and partly because of the environment. I don't know that it's 'easier' on nights (and that is coming from someone who has worked both, and is currently working both). People 'sundown' on nights, people crash on nights, and there is not as much backup. You can make the argument that you'll get really good at figuring out what's worth calling the doc for and what isn't, and you will, but whether night shift is for you is your call alone to make. Personally, I would not do 5 8-hour nights unless my life depended on it, but that's just me. Right now I am weekend option and rotate between a weekend of nights and a weekend of days. That seems to be working pretty well.

    One thing I would recommend is, whatever shift you decide upon, make sure you orient to the other shift as well. That way you know what 'the other side' has to deal with. That way you know why someone didn't call about a minor issue at 0300, or why someone's discharge education didn't get completed because day shift got slammed with admits.
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    i love 12 hour shift. ;D too bad in the institution where i am working they changed it to 8hour shift. No more 2-3 consecutive day off for us
  11. 1
    You're probably best to work 12's, if you have the option. Eight hour shifts result in less time off to recover and have a life.
    Jessy_RN likes this.
  12. 7
    I will quit before I work 8s ever again. I like having more time off than I do time at work.
    DutchRN09, mzmae, readerwriter8, and 4 others like this.


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