Going from inpatient night shift to outpatient M-F days... ??

  1. Hi Everyone!

    I've been working nights in an inpatient drug detox for the past year and a half. I work 8hr shifts, sat-tues with wed-fri off. At first, I loved nights. It's so nice to be going in the OPPOSITE direction of the rush-hour traffic, and nice to have that 3rd day off during the week. It's definitely nice to have weekdays off so that I can schedule doc appts and other things without having to take time off work. However, I'm young and getting stuck working the same schedule every week is making it hard for me to have a social life (welcome to nursing, I know). Also, night shift in general is taking a toll on both my mind and body. My manager has tried to help tweak the schedule a little bit to help me out. Instead of every Saturday 11p-7a she was able to let me alternate Saturday noc/day shift. But other than that, there really isn't any movement within shifts. No one wants to come off days and no one wants to do rotation. We're a small facility, too.. so they won't really implement huge scheduling changes and also won't offer 12-hr shifts instead of 8's.

    I worked in a poorly run Primary Care clinic for two years prior to this job. The reason I left was ultimately because the doc I worked with moved out of state and there were no full-time opportunities within the company at that time. Initially, night shift was a nice change but now that it's taken it's toll, I've been applying like crazy to Outpatient facilities and day-shift jobs all over. I FINALLY got a call yesterday from a new clinic owned by a major Boston hospital and I interview next week. I'm so excited! I'll likely take the job if it's offered to me.
    Has anyone found themselves in a similar situation? I felt like I hated the office when I worked there, but I really feel like it was that particular medical group. I've been itching to get back into the outpatient setting for the "normal" hours and the different pace. I'll be applying to an RN bridge program soon, which would start in September. I'm also wondering if they'll be flexible with me getting to class on time (applying to an evening program) ...again, all things I need to bring up at the interview.

    Has anyone else gone from a night shift job to 40hrs days M-F? How did you adjust? Are you happy with your decision? There are other issues going on with my current job besides the schedule that make me eager to get out ASAP, but they're more personal. I know I'm the only one that can make the decision, but I don't want to make a hasty one- I'd just love to hear about anyone else's thoughts or experiences... Thank you for reading!!!
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    About RxOnly

    Joined: Nov '10; Posts: 141; Likes: 160
    Ambulatory Care Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in Psych/Substance Abuse, Ambulatory Care


  3. by   Quickbeam
    I have primarily worked nights during my career and now work M-F, 0700 to 1530 as a case manager. Mostly it is a nice change. Things to remember: all the things you used to be able to get done because you lived upside down? Are now time off issues. MD appts, dental appts, getting your car fixed....the morning yoga class I loved is now out of reach. You must compete with everyone else on the roads and in the stores.

    Otherwise? Loving it. My vitamin D levels went up as well! Good luck!
  4. by   KelRN215
    I haven't done it but several people I used to work with have left either an inpatient permanent night position or rotating position to work clinic, office or VNA positions that were weekday days only. Every one that I have spoken to since has said that they haven't regretted it for a minute. Admittedly part of that is because our work environment is miserable.
  5. by   laughterishelpful
    I'm so glad you posted this. I'm working night shift, 3 12's. It is ok and has it benefits--avoiding the crazy traffic, 3-4 day off stretches, etc. But, it has also taken a toll on me and my health. I feel like I'm always tired, and spend at least 1, if not 2 of my days off just sleeping to get caught up. I'm sure my overall health is suffering--diet,exercise,mental state. Plus, I hate driving home after working all night. I feel like a zombie and it is unsafe. I am thinking of going to days, M-F job as well. I'm not sure on the paycut,but I figure I'm bringing the MD office 5 years med/surg;post-op; and mother/baby exp to their office, I working on my BSN as well, I can argue those to get more on the hourly rate (whatever it may be). Plus, to have the 'normal' family schedule will be nice as well.
    But, I need to make up my mind, update my resume, and then search. Sitting around thinking and wishing won't get me far.
  6. by   kwijibo
    wow. did you all read my mind? hear my thoughts? see my dreams? this is the next move i am making, and for several reasons:

    1) i have worked strictly 12hr nights (3/week) for 5 years. i started as a new grad. initially it was the best option for me and my wife's schedules (she works m-f 8-5). so i work almost strictly M, Tu, W nights and have weekends off with her. i dont have to do the rotating schedule and weekend thing. But now that she has accepted a new position which requires interstate travel 3 weeks out of a month and we have some pets, i think it would be easier to go to days. plus i would like somebody to be home at night.

    2) it's taking a major toll on my body and mind. i am so screwed up. im tired 24/7. i constantly feel the need to nap during the day when i'm off. i wake up in the middle of the night all bushy tailed. every sleep med i've tried just isn't effective or sustainable (trazodone, melatonin, ambien, unisom, benadryl are some). i can't enjoy life like i used to.

    3) my focus in school was public and community health. i wanted to get into acute care initially to build and develop my assessment skills. should i ever want to get back into a hospital, i will have these years under my belt. but now it's time to follow what i originally intended to do.

    so now i am looking into a family practice clinic that is still a part of my healthcare facility. it will allow me to keep my benefits, pension, PTO, etc. which is nice. i do like my hospital. plus ive done quite well here in my 5 years so i feel it would be an easier transition than going to another facility.

    but, i would like some info on how people like family medicine? what are the differences/similarities to public and community health?

    i am looking forward to a change in my nursing career and a more "normal" life.

    i'd like to note that having to deal with the normal crowds (dr appts, auto shops, groceries) is something i actually miss. i miss being social and being around people. plus, whenever i have to do major things, during my working days, i have to take 2 nights off: the night before and the night of. unless i want to do those things after being up for 16 hours, then have to go back to work on only a (maybe) couple hours sleep. at least day shifters can just take that one day off to get their errands done.
  7. by   Been there,done that
    Write down the pros and cons on this one!

    Boston traffic is brutal! How long will your commute be ?
    In my case, night shift was not possible with my circadian rhythm.

    I enjoyed the office environment, but I was coming from bedside nursing and anything was better!

    Good luck, keep us posted.