New Grads - Rotten Shifts?

  1. 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 non-nurses tell me most new grads end up on rotten graveyard shifts and night shifts and that you have no choice of day or night when you are new.

    I have only talked to two nurses about this. One is a recent new grad and the other is a 23 yr. veteran. The new grad used to work as an occupational therapy assistant, so perhaps that is why she got day shift (people knew her)?

    Can anyone else share their knowledge with me? I would like to go to nursing school to get my RN and I am doing research to see if it would fit in with my family life, as I have a 3 year old. Any suggestions/comments/responses would be greatly appreciated!
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  2. 79 Comments

  3. by   Medic2RN
    I changed my career to nursing in order to have a better family schedule (3 y/o and an 11 mo.). I recently got hired for a 3-11p shift although I was also offered a 7-3 shift. Most of the other positions I had investigated needed new grads on 7p-7a. I could not do that type of shift at this time.
    I think it depends on what you can find at the time and in what unit you're willing to work. The nice thing about nursing is that you have a choice of schedules and areas you would like to work in.
    Good luck to you!!
  4. by   GardenDove
    Just to chime in, some of us prefer the 'rotten graveyard shift'

    Most places have a seniority system, so yes, new grads are on the bottom of that ladder.
  5. by   PANurseRN1
    It really depends on how well/understaffed hospitals are in your area. Usually, there is a wait to get day positions.

    I hate to break it to you, but you'll also be expected to do your share of holidays. Newbies seem to be shocked at this, particularly those with kids.
  6. by   purplemania
    There are so many variables to consider. For one thing, you cannot have too many new nurses on a shift at one time. The mix needs to be balanced with experienced nurses. Also, if you have a current employee requesting a specific shift whenever the slot opens, then that employee ought to get preference over the new grad. Sometimes new grads are put with specific preceptors to maximize the learning experience. I had a new grad tell me recently she would not consider a night shift, period. Well, this is a 24/7 operation. We get employees on vacation or out due to illness and the rest of the crew has to fill in. She had good grades & references, but I would not consider hiring someone who is so inflexible, even if I have what she wants right now, because down the road that person could be a problem. Have to think of the whole unit, not just one person.
  7. by   truern
    Hi, I'm a new grad with no previous experience in the healthcare field and I got the first and only job I applied for AND the day shift. It's not unheard of, obviously
  8. by   BSNtobe2009
    I'm glad you brought this up, because this GREATLY concerns me when I graduate.

    I don't mind working either shift...that is for me personally. Since most hospitals are going to 12 hour shifts, my concern as a single parent is how in the world I'm going to do child care with no family to help.

    The only thing I can think of is hire a college student to come over and spend the night a couple of nights a week at my home, and by the time I would get home, she would have plenty of time to get up and go to class and I could take my daughter to school.

    I actually think because of this...night shift may be easier than day shift, b/c if I had to be AT work at 6:00 a.m....who is going to come to my house at 5:30 a.m. and take her to school?
  9. by   user9876
    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.
  10. by   CityKat
    Hmm..I wouldn't say the night shift is "rotten". Some of us are night owls and would prefer to work through the break of dawn. Not only that, you usually get paid more if you work the 7p-7a. Again, all depends on your flexibility and as anywhere, nursing works on senority like someone said.
  11. by   NurseWi_JennJenn
    I didn't have much choice as far as shifts go when I first started. I am on the graveyard shift as well.
  12. by   RNSacht
    Quote from truern
    Hi, I'm a new grad with no previous experience in the healthcare field and I got the first and only job I applied for AND the day shift. It's not unheard of, obviously
    Ditto :smiley_ab New Grad here and I got 12 hour DAY shift
  13. by   Narnia456
    Almost a new grad here (DEC 12!!!) , I got a 7a-7p waiting for me on the floor where I want to be. I had to chuckle, I got the job now, I sent out the invites to pinning, now I HAVE to study! LOL!!
  14. by   augigi
    Totally depends on where you work, and the needs of the unit. As someone else said, you have to figure the skillmix when scheduling, so you cannot have all the grads on the same shift. At the same time, days are usually better to start with as you have access to more resources (but also more doctors, tests, dressings, families and interruptions!).

    Check out the facilities is all I can suggest.

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