Can't work hospital hours-- but I love being a nurse!

Nurses Career Support


I am hoping to maybe get some advice here..........

I have been an RN for a little over 7 years and have worked in many different areas. I have left many jobs for various reasons. Some because that area was not a good fit for me once I got into it, working with staff that were just plain nasty, working in a LTC facility that had the state in there almost daily due to the complaints and poor conditions, hating being a manger........

and so on.

I have leaned a lot along the way though about what I like and don't like, what I am good at and not so good at.

I have found after lots of trial and error that I love psych nursing. I want to continue on and get my masters in mental health counseling.

My current issue is this......I am currently not working after I left a position due to to...well I hated being the boss and the nurses under me were very unprofessional and treated me horribly. It was a small facility so it was hard.

So now I have been almost 3 and 1/2 months without a job. I have been looking for a position with Mon-Fri day shift hours.

I know these are rare positions but I have worked night shifts for 2 different positions I held in the hospital and well........I can't physically do it! I have pretty bad insomnia as it is working normal hours. I have chronic pain from DDD and arthritis in my cervical spine and chronic headaches, IBS......Starting to fall apart as I near 40! lol Anyways working crazy hours makes all my health issues so much one point I was working all 3 shift in one week and end up with a GI bleed, severe anemia, my BP all over the place-- passed out twice at work with a really low BP and getting a cardiology work up! So yeah I don't do well with crazy shifts.......

So now it has been so long and I have to start working again--I am a single mom to boot! I have applied to so many jobs and have not even heard anything back. I called the hospital today where I worked psych to see if they still required night shifts and well yup they do--throughout the hospital.

I love being a nurse but I feel like I have to sacrifice my own health to care for others. I have even applied at the insurance companies--just because of the hours and that it would allow me to go back to school. I know I would miss the patient contact though. I am a people person.

What do all of you do to deal with the whole shift thing at the hospital?? I want to be there but with I want a life with my family and physically can't do the nights........any thoughts.

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty.

Hi MentalHealthRN- I saw your post with no replies yet - hopefully you'll get some more but I recalled this thread below while not specifically about hours has a lot of overlap to what you might be looking for. I am guessing you aren't ready to narrow it down to just psych positions yet? Best wishes! :)

Which Nursing Jobs are the Least Stressful? - Nursing for Nurses

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

Most hospitals and acute care facilties have waiting lists for day shifts, so it's very unlikely that you'd be hired into a new facility straight for days. And very few NMs would risk the bad blood that would arise if they hired you straight into a day position spot that a lot of the staff had been biding their time for. You'd have to get in wherever you can (probably nights) and wait until a day shift opened up for you.

You may have more luck with doctor's offices, clinics or may also have luck with Nursing Jobs away from the bedside, such as utilization review, insurance, telephone triage, or case manager. The more flexible you are, the better your chances are of landing a job with hours that are acceptable to you.

Good luck!

yeah --unfortunatly nights shift at all are just not an option. I spoke with someone at the Psych center here in town (the more long-term psych treatments center run by the state) and they do actually-unlike hospitals hire for a straight shift. Days or eves or nights. With my son (9yrs old) I have him 50% custody so straight eves is not an option, straight not an option because of my son and health and they have only a few straight day positions. Funny thing though she told me they are trying to staff with as few nurses (LPN or RN) as possible since they new can't mandate licensed staff. So more mental health techs I guess. That stinks for the patients.

I have applied to many of the places you mentioned--insurance, outpatient psych, I just have not heard back from anyone. So I am being as patient as I can. Thanks for the suggestions though.

Specializes in telecare, icu/ccu, ob/gyn.

Sorry to hear of your troubles finding work. It is very difficult to come into a facility on a straight day shift, Monday through Friday, weekends and holiday off position. At times, you have to bite the bullet and take a position on a less desirable shift to get your foot in the door. Once working at the facility, then you will have first bite at future openings at that facility. I started working at the VA on straight 8 hour night shifts for a year before a day position opened up that I could apply/ interview for. That job was 8/ 12 hour day shifts which was difficult at times to manage being a single parent of 4. After 3 years I was able to obtain a position as a telephone triage nurse with the hours that I desired. Another thing you might need to know is that when applying for a job, they do look at your previous work history and if you are not staying in any position for any length of time, the company/ hospital may not hire you as they see you as a person who may not stay around after they invest time and resources training you.

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

Also, most acute care facilities require you work at least every other or every 3rd weekend. It would be very rare to find a bedside nursing position that wouldn't involve any Saturdays or Sundays.

One other suggestion I can make is that you apply to work PRN/per diem. The upside to that is that you can pick and choose what hours you can work, so you could make yourself available only for weekday day shifts if that's what you wanted. However, downside #1 is that there's no guarantee you'd get as many hours as you'd like to get, and downside #2 is that you probably wouldn't be offered benefits. Still, it might be something to consider--if anything, it could be some income while you keep searching.

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