Transitioning from 12 hour shifts to Mon-Fri?

  1. Hey everyone, I've been an RN for almost 4 years, always in the ER. Lately I've been thinking I might want to eventually switch to public health. I've always been really interested in public health and when I was finishing up my BSN my community/public health class was my favorite class. I would also like more autonomy which it seems that public health would offer.

    I feel silly even asking this, but my only major concern is the switch from three 12s to five 8 hour shifts. I've worked in healthcare since I was 20 so I've never worked a Mon-Fri. The thought of no holidays and weekends is nice, but I worry if I'll hate working 5 days in a row with only two days off. It's nice having those 4 days off to do grocery shopping (I hate crowds) or schedule appointments, and the way my rotation is I have a 6 day stretch off every three weeks which makes scheduling vacations a breeze. My weekends to work though I do 5 12s within a 7 day period so obviously that's extremely exhausting. We also want to have kids in a few years and my fiancee works a Mon-Fri job, so I imagine that would be more expensive as far as child care goes.

    I like ER, but I feel that I would like public health more and be able to make more of a difference than I do in my role right now, but I'm just worried I'll hate working 5 days a week.
  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   MunoRN
    I think it completely depends on your personal preference, which will be hard for you to gauge if you've never worked M-F 9-5. I know nurses who really want those hours and are looking for how to get out of the hospital and into a M-F job, but I also know of many including myself where you couldn't pay me enough to work M-F 9-5, that's essentially equal to death, but clearly views vary.
  4. by   peripateticRN
    Having recently worked both 12s and 9-5 (well.. 830 to 5) they both have their advantages and disadvantages.
    Advantages to 9-5 include:
    Not feeling like an exhausted slug all the time. Since I've back to 'normal' hours (3+ months ago) I have napped exactly once!
    The day passes quickly - after working 12s, 8's are a breeze.
    Working with the rest of the world is kind of nice - I never get woken by the phone or mailman

    Pay is less - no shift diffs, no opportunity to work weekends or holidays or pick up OT
    I did like getting my errands done during weekdays.. now I have to shop with the rest of the population :-(
    2 days off a week doesn't feel like enough (although I never feel the same level of exhaustion on my days off, so I feel like I get an actual weekend now)

    I've got a sweet deal where I go back and forth between both (Remote PH for periods and starting as a dialysis nurse that will have shift work). I'm happy to do shiftwork for some amount of time and then go do M-F PH work for a shiftwork 'vacation'. Best of both worlds!
  5. by   Scorpio, MSN, RN
    Good luck with your transition into public health if that is what you choose to do! I spent 10 years in acute care doing three 12 hour shifts. I had the same concern about working Monday through Friday but I absolutely love it. I find I am once again in sync with the world, have a normal home routine with my family, and still manage to get errands and appointments in like the rest of the M-F world. Sometimes yes I wait a little longer in the grocery line but having a career that is fulfilling and being home with my family makes it very worth it. Good luck to you!
  6. by   cayenne06
    I did twelves forever, and really never had a standard 9-5 type job until I took this position in 2015. I was really nervous about moving to a mon-fri schedule, especially as a newly-single mom with two kids. Like, when am I supposed to go to the bank? It was definitely an adjustment period and it took me a while to figure out a new time management system.

    My number one change was getting up at least 90 minutes before my kids, so I have quiet time for coffee and reading the news, and plenty of time to make sure the house is tidy and random chores get done *before* school and work. I also use my lunch break to make phone calls, answer emails, pay bills etc, sometimes go shopping.

    I am lucky to have a ton of PTO, and I work 11-7 on thursdays so I can do appointments etc. Thank goodness for online banking and amazon! And all those years painstakingly teaching my son to be a responsible human, despite his strenuous complaints, has finally paid off. 14 years old and not only can he clean the house from top to bottom- he can do it cheerfully. It's amazing.

    Of course, once I adjusted, I started taking on extra projects at work for $$, and I also have a prn weekend job, 16 hour shifts once a month or so. There goes that work life balance haha. But it feels manageable because my normal weekly schedule is so nice, and it helps that I adore the work I do
    Last edit by cayenne06 on 5:14 pm : Reason: typos ugh