New Grad & Scheduling Difficulties

  1. I’m a recent new grad. I had several interviews and was offered positions in all of them. I chose a particular specialty area that I love and I was so excited for the opportunity to be a part of this unit. During my interview I was told that I was required to work at least 1 weekend shift a pay period, which was no problem. As a new grad I prepared myself to work some weekends and most holidays.

    I was told after orientation that I would have 3 months with a preceptor. Then I was told that my preceptor only works weekends. I asked if there was any way to change this and my educator flat out said no and then she said, “we’ll talk later.” I did not get the chance to talk to her last week, but I really need to speak with her about my schedule next week. I just don’t know how to go about doing it.

    I went through the pros of this and the only one I could find or that anyone brought up is that I get more money. Unfortunately that’s not enough for me. Working weekends only, for 3 months means that I would not get to see my family or my boyfriend for 3 months, as everyone works during the week and live in different cities. I do not mind working weekend shifts or if I’m even scheduled an entire weekend. I’m just conflicted about every weekend for 3 months.

    I feel lost because I turned down a lot of positions for this one and I really want to be here. However, my family is my support system. They are my stress relief and I’m worried that with my history of depression I won’t do well. If I would have known this information I probably would have accepted a different position, especially since I seem to be the only one that has this particular schedule (there are quite a few of us new grads on the unit).

    Has anyone else had scheduling difficulty like this and how did you handle it? How should I approach my educator? She’s actually difficult to even find because she is very busy and I haven’t really gotten to sit down with her to discuss anything. I would appreciate any advice.
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   meanmaryjean
    So you work the weekend, go to where your family is on your days off and see them before and after work. Like you would in normal life if you lived there.
  4. by   02468
    Thank you for replying! Unfortunately that does not work for most of my family, especially the ones that I want to see occasionally. For example, my sister lives a few hours away and I try to see her at least once a month. Since she's in school and participates in extracurricular activities, I only see her on weekends.

    In my normal life I don't see most people during the week. I can't see them before they work since most of them work typical 9-5's. If I see anyone after work it's for about an hour, not that realistic given I have to drive there and then back.
  5. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Three months sounds like a long time, but it really isn't. My family all live many (hundreds of) miles away and have for most of my adult life. In fact, I haven't seen my parents, my oldest daughter and her family, either of my sisters or my brother since last December. Weekends are a fact of life for nurses. Many employers aren't even the least bit flexible about which ones you work or how many. If you're not able to switch preceptors and the weekend thing is a deal breaker, walk away now. It would be in everyone's best interest if you didn't even begin the orientation. If you can manage for three months to see your family by FaceTime or Skype and complete your orientation, then do that. By the way, this isn't actually a bait-and-switch deal, in case you were wondering. It's pretty normal for a new hire to work the same schedule as their preceptor. I was hired into a per diem position but was required to work full time on the same schedule as my preceptor for the entire orientation. Which I did, because I really wanted the job. And that's the crux of the matter.
  6. by   02468
    3 months may not be a long time for you, but for me to be alone for 3 months is a big deal. Unfortunately I am entering my 3rd week of orientation and was told about my schedule a few days ago. I would have never accepted the position if I was told that up front. Again I do not mind weekend shifts. I mind ONLY weekend shifts. I will take your advice into consideration and see if I can have my preceptor switched. If not, I suppose I have a difficult decision to make. Thank you
  7. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from 02468
    3 months may not be a long time for you, but for me to be alone for 3 months is a big deal. Unfortunately I am entering my 3rd week of orientation and was told about my schedule a few days ago. I would have never accepted the position if I was told that up front. Again I do not mind weekend shifts. I mind ONLY weekend shifts. I will take your advice into consideration and see if I can have my preceptor switched. If not, I suppose I have a difficult decision to make. Thank you
    This should have explained to you as a condition of employment. You can't make the best decision for you without the right information.
  8. by   meanmaryjean
    Sometimes you have to do hard things. If you were my child- I would say "Tough it out". No one will die, nothing horrible will happen. and it will force you to go out and become a part of your new community.
  9. by   Miss.LeoRN
    Have you talked to your family? Maybe get their thoughts? It would really really suck for you to uproot yourself from a great opportunity when your family very well may rather work around it to help support you through it.
  10. by   Julius Seizure
    Quote from Miss.LeoRN
    Have you talked to your family? Maybe get their thoughts? It would really really suck for you to uproot yourself from a great opportunity when your family very well may rather work around it to help support you through it.
    I agree. Maybe some family members would be able to take a random Tuesday off to spend time with you while you get through your three months?

    I understand about worrying that this will re-ignite a history of depression. That's a legitimate concern. However, I would really try to exhaust all options (like asking family if they can have extra flexibility) before walking away from the job. Is this a day shift position? If so, I would be even more motivated to make it work because I wouldn't want to give it up for a night shift position elsewhere (also tough when you have depression).

    Good luck. I hope you can find a way to make this work.
  11. by   llg
    Quote from 02468
    I went through the pros of this and the only one I could find or that anyone brought up is that I get more money.
    The other BIG pro is that you get a job in a specialty that interests you. Don't throw that away for 2 more months of inconvenience and a little lonliness (You've already finished most of the first month.)

    There are phones and computers to keep in touch with family. Throughout history, people have endured much greater hardships for their careers. 3 months is less than 1 semester of college!

    Talk to your manager and see if you can get 1 (or 2) weekends off in the middle of the 3 months to see your family -- even if you have to take the time off without pay. If you ask nicely and professionally, you can probably get a little something in return for your willingness to orient on the weekends.
  12. by   NuGuyNurse2b
    I would start looking for another job. If this place is playing games with you this early on, there's no telling what they'll do with you after orientation is over. You will get to your specialty with time and experience.
  13. by   RNNPICU
    I just want to uderstand. ..
    During orientation you will have to work weekends, correct?
    After orientation it would revert to once a pay period?

    It is possible that when they were arranging schedules and preceptors that your preceptor may have switched to all weekends. Maybe with looking at available preceptors and matching skills that it was the best pairing for your learning.

    You may want to ask your Educator if there is one day in the next month that you could switch out? You don't want to go overboard, but ask if there is a Saturday that you could switch to a different day.
  14. by   SilleLu
    Sounds like a hard decision if they won't change your preceptor. I recently accepted a new 12 hour position at my hospital and at no time did they bother to mention that during the three months of orientation I would be asked to work 5 8 hour shifts a week. Three months is a long time when it's your life that is impacted. Luckily I was able to talk to the educator and work it out to work 2 8s and 2 12s for 2 months, then 3 12s the last month.

    I agree it's wrong for the hiring manager/HR to not be clear about the difference in schedule between orientation and regular. It's irritating to be expected to just "suck it up" when you may have taken a different opportunity had the expectations been clearly communicated. If and when I move on, it will be a question I always ask before accepting a job offer.

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