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Doesn't Want 12 hr shifts

Nurse Beth   (344 Views 2 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice) Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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Dear Nurse Beth,

I am an RPN, currently on maternity/parental leave. I got my RN LICENSE too recently. I don’t feel like going back to the 12-hour shift in the hospital, is there another option for shorter shifts or an alternative job for a nurse.

Dear Another Option,

In the States we have LVNs (licensed vocational nurses) and LPNs (licensed practical nurses). They are the same, and the title varies by state.

I understand in Canada RPNs (registered practical nurses) are equivalent to LPNs or LVNs.

Not everyone loves 12 hr shifts because they aren't a good fit for everyone depending on your family situation, and your stage in life. Twelve hours can easily equate to being gone from your child 13-14 hrs or longer, which is a long time for a little one and for Mom or Dad.

Long shifts can lead to fatigue and even errors caused by fatigue. Continuity of care is more difficult with 12 hr shifts than 8 hr shifts.

Twelve-hour shifts became very popular years ago and now are considered the norm in acute care. Hospitals believe it would be difficult to attract nurses and be competitive without them. This despite the fact that it takes more  FTEs (full-time equivalents) to run a unit with 12 hr shifts than it does with 8 hr shifts. Twelve hr shifts are expensive for employers, but overall, nurses want them.

Typically, 8 hr shifts and 10 hr shifts can be found in procedural areas, such as Cath Lab, Surgery and Peri-operative, GI Lab, Interventional Radiology, and Infusion clinics.

Home Health is usually 8 hrs, and many non-bedside jobs such as Case Management and Documentation Specialist are as well.

RNs have more job options than do RPNs, and congrats on getting your RN! You are a newly licensed RN, so you will need 1-2 yrs experience at the bedside to qualify for non-bedside jobs. This makes it a little more difficult to find an 8 hr job. Not knowing your location, check on acute re-hab facilities. Some SNFs also have 8 hr shifts. 

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!


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5 Posts; 407 Profile Views

Thank you so much, that was helpful.

i am IEN and was working as RN prior to coming to Canada. However my Canadian experience is as RPN . 
I will look into the options you mentioned or I might switch to a casual work for now.

 Thank you again 

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