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Best way to self schedule two 8's and two 12's

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Specializes in Cardiac Step-down, NICU. Has 2 years experience.

Hi all! I graduated nursing school this past May with my BSN and was very fortunate to land a job as an *RN in a Cardiac Critical Care Unit (one side of this open unit is critical care, the other is progressive care / stepdown)

I start in July. The first 12 weeks I will be matched with my preceptors schedule, but after that I will be making my own schedule, and working nights. I was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to give me some advice on the best way to manage this! The difficult part for me is that I will be working two 8's and two 12's each week, not three 12's which I feel would be easier to schedule!

My husband works a straight 9-5 daytime job and we do not yet have children. I would prefer to lump my days together as much as is reasonable in order to maximize my days off in a row and make night shift work easier.

The rules seem to be pretty straightforward:

1. Must work every other weekend (Saturday and Sunday) which are set in stone

2. Must work two Fridays per month

3. The rest is self schedule, with two 8's and two 12's per week, straight night shift

What do you guys think? If you have done the two 8 and two 12 schedule with every other weekend how have you scheduled it?

Looking forward to hearing back from a few of you! Happy Friday :-)

*I wanted to state for the record that I will be an RN (hopefully soon!) but still need to take my NCLEX - Pennsylvania allows graduate nurses to work with a temporary practice permit (under the guidance of a preceptor) for a limited time while they study for and take their NCLEX exam. Just didn't want to mis-represent myself!