Working 5 12's for the 1st year as a new this a good idea?

  1. 0
    Hi guys future nurse here. When I graduate from nursing school I plan to work 5 12hr shifts a week for at least the 1st year to gain experience and hone my skills so that I can become a better confident competent nurse. I know that it takes many years of experience to fully feel and become competent as nurse and that as medical providers we will never stop learning and will never be omniscient. But being that it is the 1st year which is the hardest. I'm thinking that working 5 12's instead of 3 12's would better help in transitioning from student to the actual role of being a nurse and really adapt to what it's really like to be working as a nurse in the real world and in the process really hone my skills and learn new things everyday.

    I know 5 12hr shifts are going to b exhausting and that it will vary upon the type of specialty that I'm working in but I don't mind doing that for the 1st 2yrs or so. After that I plan on working 3 12's.

    I'll have to see if my place of employment allows nurses to work overtime and to what extent if not than I'll work the 3 12's. I'm not going to limit myself and get picky especially in these tough times.

    ** Has anybody done this? or plan to? Is this a good idea? Thanks!

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  3. 26 Comments...

  4. 4
    One of the biggest things you are going to do is burn yourself out. It doesn't matter how many days you work in that first year. You still may not feel comfortable as a nurse yet in the beginning. Enjoy your time off. Unless you need the money then don't do it. It sounds good in theory but it is a lot of wear and tear on your body.

    Do you have a job line up yet?

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  5. 7
    Np employer will schedule you 5 12s in a week.Working is not a menu that you can just order from.You cannot just "decide" you are going to work 5 12s.Besides that would mean overtime and most employers don't want that. Plus as a new grad you will not first dibs on any shifts up for grabs.It's not a good idea anyways.Especially as a new grad. You will be exhausted and burnt out in no time.
  6. 0
    OT will depend on where you work. My RN job had 4,8,12 hour slots available for anyone to pick up. First come, first serve. That being said, I was pretty tired working 7 12's a pay period. At a certain point your mind gets tired and you will become dangerous.
  7. 10
    It's actually a TERRIBLE 'plan'.

    Fatigue is a huge factor in patient safety. You will e monstrously fatigued.

    You are asking to generate TWENTY hours of overtime each and every week. No manager is going to approve that.

    And honestly, you have no CLUE what it is like to work as an RN. You are making many, many assumptions and have not really the background to make these assumptions.

    FIRST, find a job. THEN, figure out how to be a nurse (estimated time frame: one year). IF, after that, you want to work some OT, knock yourself out.

    PS: I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer. I know people who make financial decisions based on ridiculous amounts of OT. In not even one of those cases, has it worked out well.
  8. 2
    At first I thought this was nursing satire. Then I realized it was real.... Bad idea, plus they won't let you do it (overtime). Very unhealthy and unsafe.
    hikernurse and loriangel14 like this.
  9. 2
    OP, the only way for you to work 5 12's is to have two jobs, because most employers a are not inclined to offer OT to new grads, let alone experienced staff. I suggest to take one step at a time with a position, and learn the foundation of being a new grad. Gone are the days of getting two jobs...I started out many moons ago working 2 days if pediatric home care and 3-12's working at a rehab hospital...but again, that was 8 years ago...different economic climate.
    Esme12 and loriangel14 like this.
  10. 0
    As a new grad myself, my concern for you is burnout/fatigue. It takes time to efficiently develop your skills and trust your instinct without hesitation. Also, as new grad, you'll probably be doing some additional studying outside of work to review things you learn from the previous shift. Working that many shifts will probably not give you enough time to relax, reflect, and review.
  11. 0
    I have worked 5 12's before, I have worked 18 days straight before (not all 12's), but I have not worked 5 12's for a year straight. I think it can be done, but you have to have the time to sleep, the personality and physical ability to do it. Also - like others have mentioned - depends on where you work. My FT time job - no way - corporate wont allow the OT anymore and the ratios are BS. My PT job - 5 12's would be ok considering the current conditions remain the same.
  12. 5
    Have you thought about using your days off to research and learn more about the things you come in contact with at your job. I have to go home and look something up after almost every shift. And I've been a nurse for over 10 years.
    Of course you don't get paid for at home learning. But it will make you a way smarter and safer nurse.

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