New Grads - Rotten Shifts? - page 4

I have heard a lot of conflicting things from nurses and non-nurses regarding new graduate RNs and choices of shifts. The nurses tell me they had no trouble getting day shifts as a new grad. The... Read More

  1. by   jenrninmi
    Quote from busylady61
    I have a question. As someone who is planning to go to LPN school next year, I am fairly new to this.

    I see people keep making references to 12-hour shifts at hospitals. How many hours a week does that mean?

    Are the RNs working 12 hour shifts five days a week (60 hour weeks roughly) and earning overtime for anything over 40 hours? Or are they earning a flat salary with hours that vary?

    How does this work?

    P.S. I am currently a teacher who works unpaid overtime all the time, so I would really be curious to know how the overtime system works at hospitals. Thanks for any input!
    No. 3 12 hour shifts = 36 hour weeks.
  2. by   busylady61
    Thanks for your response!

    So, RNs can work three days a week? And have four days off? And still pull in about $45k a year? (That's what the salary statistics are for my area...)

    All I can think of at this moment is --- what was I ever thinking when I went into teaching? I should have become a nurse a long time ago!
  3. by   Gennaver
    Quote from TrudyRN
    I think it depends on whether you want to work in an area that is closed after 5 pm or so or is open 24/7. MD office, clinic, outpatient surgery center, research, home health, community health, dialysis - these tend to be daytime jobs. Hospitals and nursing homes are not. So if you want to do any type of nursing in these facilities, think long and hard. We know some nurses are working Days. But the offshifts have to be covered. Including on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other holidays. It is very, very painful to have to work on those days.
    Yeah, yet for folks like me, the holidays are just another day and not a problem to work. So, painful for one person is not painful for another.

    Also, to top it off, if the Holidays are not even painful for you to work OR if you can incorporate your holiday around it the extra pay for the day's work it a bonus then.

    Gen
  4. by   redwinggirlie
    Quote from aph401
    just my opinion, but i don't think the whole seniority system is necessarily a good idea. where i live, new grads DO start out on nightshift at the hospitals in the area... no exceptions really. i have especially found this to be true in the NICU and other ICU areas. i think new grads should be given day shifts right out of school, because it's a better learning environment.. things are so different at night, and they're not really learning everything. patients aren't being discharged, for the most part they are asleep, the families are gone, less/no doctors orders, less doctors around period.. just to name a few... just my two cents.
    Well, I have to argue a couple of your points: It depends on what unit you work on whether or not it's a good learning environment at night. Where I've worked my nights we're busy allllllll the time.
    Discharges at night? When they happen, it's usually right when we come on...
    And, they're usually not sleeping at night either. Pain issues, etc....
    But, as I said, it depends on the unit on which you work. I went to the burn unit as a new grad and worked nights. Guess the biggest difference I see is there are LESS people bothering you and the patient at night!
  5. by   RNHawaii34
    i am a new grad myself. i am aware that new grad's will get the crappiest shift ever. i got the day night rotating shift on my first job. then now i got the evening shift, which is fine to me.i work in a nursing home by the way. i don't have a kid to worry about, but of coarse i like to do fun stuff in the afternoon, i agree 100% with all the poster above. if your in the bottom of the ladder, i think you just have to wait for your turn to work a nice shift.
  6. by   smk1
    What I absolutely will not take is a day night rotating shift when I graduate. I know my body and I know that I will become ill. I would prefer day or evening, but could do nights if it were a regular non-rotating shift. Then I could become acclimated to a sleep schedule and hopefull wouldn't suffer too many ill effects. I feel like I am flexible, but also smart enough to know what I can and can't handle.
  7. by   Retired R.N.
    Quote from SMK1
    What I absolutely will not take is a day night rotating shift when I graduate. I know my body and I know that I will become ill. I would prefer day or evening, but could do nights if it were a regular non-rotating shift. Then I could become acclimated to a sleep schedule and hopefull wouldn't suffer too many ill effects. I feel like I am flexible, but also smart enough to know what I can and can't handle.
    If you already know that you can't handle rotating shifts, it would be foolish for you to accept a job that requires it. Although I always preferred nights, I could handle any shift as long as it did not require any rotation. It always took me a minimum of three weeks to get my internal clock reset and running smoothly.

    Knowing this, I always mentioned it during the initial interview, and especially made a point of stressing that I absolutely would not work a 3-11 shift, and then be back at work again the following morning at 7.

    This "attitude" did result in my not getting a couple of jobs that I had applied for, but I always felt that it was better for the employer as well as me to avoid having me at risk of making mistakes because I was not functioning at top efficiency. It was MY license on the line every time I walked in to work, and I had worked too hard to get it to risk it for some employer who had a scheduling problem.
  8. by   Medic2RN
    Quote from TrudyRN
    Evenings worked fine for me while my kids were young. As they grew older, though, I found that I was missing their games, concerts, family holiday gatherings that usually start about 4 pm, etc.
    That's the beauty of nursing! Once my kids are older and involved in after school activities, I'll just find another shift to work into my life. Who knows, perhaps I'll work the "rotten shift" because I'll be able to sleep during the day. I'm really excited about this career change!! :spin:
  9. by   hica19
    I am a new grad and doing rotating shifts. It's usually 4 weeks per shift then we rotate. I don't mind it as long as I get a couple of days off in between to help me transition.
  10. by   smk1
    Quote from Retired R.N.
    If you already know that you can't handle rotating shifts, it would be foolish for you to accept a job that requires it.
    This is exactly what I said...:uhoh21:
  11. by   MililaniMom
    Quote from guerrierdelion
    :Santa1:
    An article from 2003 that might be of some interest:
    NurseZone - Feature Stories - Spotlight on nurses - Archive
    I was hired for the night shift but by happenstance, someone transferred out of the unit for greener pastures so... I made a written request for the day shift, shoved it under my nurse manager's door, and got switched to the day shift.

    Thanks everyone! I am sorry if I offended anyone by calling the night/graveyard shift the "rotten shift". I should have picked a catchier title to elicit responses, eh?

    I used to be a night owl/vampire. In fact, one of the reasons I entertained choosing nursing as a career was because it offered nights. In my current career, it is only days. I learned to be an early bird after I had my son. Everything centers around him now. I will have to wait until he's away to college before I can work nights, that is....if I had a choice. It seems that it really depends on a lot of factors, after reading all the responses. Thanks to all of you! It really helps me out to learn everyone's experiences!

    I really loved the article/link mentioned above. Thank you Guerrierdelion! I laughed when I saw one nurse comparing herself to feeling like a cross between a vampire and a rooster! I won't ever forget that article. Very well written. Thanks again!
  12. by   rach_nc_03
    all of the hospitals where I used to live ONLY offered D/N rotating 12 hour shifts to new grads. For the 'popular' units, you could only get a stable (day or night only) shift after multiple years. It took something like 10 or 15 years to qualify for a day shift position on two units.

    I loved nights, hated days. (work in a corporate job with a horrid commute so I now have to get up at 5AM anyway.) when I did rotating shifts, we were only required to work a certain number of days, nights, weekends- and self-scheduled. no matter how I tried, I couldn't stop getting sick. It was impossible for my body to adjust. I could do fine after the first shift on nights, but going from nights to days meant a week full of sleepless nights, at least.

    I've never met anyone who liked rotating shifts. I think they're incredibly unhealthy.
  13. by   GatorRN
    when i was a new grad, many moons ago, i had a choice of days or nights, whichever i wanted. i think it probably varies with location and facility.

    i chose nights, i guess i'm a sucker for the "rotten shifts." i'm also a sucker for the nice 29% differential. although, i'd work nights even without it, but it sure makes for a puuuuurty check.


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    Last edit by GatorRN on Dec 4, '06

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