How do rotating shifts work exactly?

  1. I've applied to a veterans hospital and the job announcement states the nurse must be willing and able to rotate a tour of duty to evening and day/evening. I'm not sure whether the hours will be 8 or 12. My question is, how EXACTLY does will this rotation thing work? Is it saying that one day I'll work an evening shift and then turn around the next work day and work a day plus evening shift or what? I need some help understanding this.
    Last edit by Joe V on Apr 2, '18
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    About finallyRN7

    Joined: Jan '11; Posts: 151; Likes: 15
    from US


  3. by   SpEdtacular
    It depends on the facility. Sometimes it's the same days of the week but you'll do evenings for a while and then days for a while. Sometimes you rotate the days of the week and the times of day. Sometimes you rotate the time of day but not the days of the week. I could be anything so you need to ask exactly what the rotation is.
  4. by   Double-Helix
    It usually means a week of one shift and a week of the next. So day shift one week and evenings the next, days the next week, then evening, etc. It could also mean a rotation between eight and twelve hour shifts.
  5. by   miss81
    We used to do rotating shifts until we started self-scheduling last year. When we did, it was 12 hours and we'd do:
    Friday, Saturday, Sundays (DAYS) --> Monday Tuesday (OFF) --> Wednesday and Thursday (NIGHTS) --> Friday, Saturday, Sunday (OFF) -->Monday & Tuesday (DAYS) --> and so on... (USUALLY DAYS_NIGHTS_DAYS_NIGHTS....)

    Hope that makes sense!

  6. by   itsmejuli
    I work a 6 week schedule of rotating days/eves. Every week of that 6 week schedule is different, I'm glad I don't have kids.

    Last week I worked Sat, Sun, Mon and Tues day shift then Wed and Thurs eve. This week Mon, Tues and Wed eve shift then 2 days off then Sat, Sun days. I work part-time 8 hr shifts.
  7. by   turnforthenurse
    It depends on the facility. I used to live in Ohio, and I know two hospitals (Metro Health & The Cleveland Clinic) did rotating shifts...they would do 2 weeks of days, then rotate and do 2 weeks of nights...then rotate again.
  8. by   RNperdiem
    In my unit, the policy is that for rotating shifts (we work 12s), experienced staff schedule themselves at least 2 weeks out of 6 for nights and new grads schedule at least 50% of their shifts on nights.
    How exactly you want to divide up your time is your preference, depending on availability.
  9. by   finallyRN7
    Thanks guys. This information was very helpful.
  10. by   theVaway
    I work at a VA. rotating means usually a week or two if one and then another. Also with union contracts they won't schedule u without at least a day off in-between. The union has very specific requirements for scheduling so be sure to read your local contract. The VA is a wonderful organization I hope u can join us in caring for our nation's heroes
  11. by   hikernurse
    We are assigned how many night shifts we need to complete during a schedule period. We have only twelve hour shifts. We can always work more, but not less . The nurses have some latitude about how they choose to execute this. Some prefer to keep their nights in a row and get them out of the way and others do rather a mix.

    Rotating shifts are hardest on the body, so find something that works for you.

    A word to the wise , if you self-schedule, a lot of us find that quickly moving from a night to a day can be the hardest. For example, work Monday night then Wednesday morning. But then again, I'm old .
  12. by   beernuts
    I would like to work at a VA. Can anyone tell me the times for their day and night shifts? Thanks!
  13. by   krisiepoo
    I do rotating 12's and have it so I'll have 1-2 weeks of nights then 1-2 weeks of days... out of 12 weeks, 1/2 need to be nights and out of 12 weeks, 1/2 need to be weekends...