New Grads - Rotten Shifts? - page 5

I have heard a lot of conflicting things from nurses and non-nurses regarding new graduate RNs and choices of shifts. The nurses tell me they had no trouble getting day shifts as a new grad. The... Read More

  1. by   RNsRWe
    I'll admit to not reading all the replies to the original post, but skimmed a few and figured I'd offer my two cents. As a new grad, I applied to two hospitals, and received offers from each. One nurse manager told me that I'd probably "have" to start on the day shift because her more senior nurses prefered the night shift (something I wanted!) unless I wanted a different unit, and then I could probably have my choice. The other nurse manager told me that I could have nights in one unit and days on another (both NM's did multiple units). So I chose the combination that worked best for me: med/surge (I wanted) and nights (I wanted) and 12-hour shifts (also wanted). In short, I got everything I wanted!

    No one here can speak for all hospitals in all geographic areas, but I'm guessing you're going to find that if a hospital wants you badly enough, they'll find space for you *IF* you, too, can offer some flexibility or something another applicant doesn't have. That's always the game, isn't it: best applicant wins?

    My classmates frequently got what they wanted, too....some wanted days, or 12 hour days, and got that. Some, like me, wanted nights and some wanted certain units....not everyone gets everything they want, obviously, but I wouldn't be so certain that as a new grad you must assume you CAN'T have what you want Keep your eyes open, pay attention, and maybe you'll just get that spot you're looking for.

    By the way, don't be so quick to label ANY shift as "rotten" I get paid considerably more than my day counterparts, and have more time off to boot. AND, when it comes to holidays, I have alot more time there, too (working Thanksgiving meant going in long after the dinner was over; working Christmas Eve means coming home early in the morning the next day; working Christmas Day means not going in until 11pm. Not exactly tough on the family!).
  2. by   mom2michael
    All new grads at my facility are hired on as rotating shifts, but you don't rotate. They only do this so you are not committed to day vs. night shift until everyone figures out where the need is and where you fit best because we do an overhire of GN's. Everyone starts their orientation on days and the last 2-3 weeks you are moved to your final shift - therefore the "rotating" comes into play. Lots of factors come into play during your orientation vs. what shift you'll ened up working and sometimes in a matter of preference. Some start working days only to love nights or the other way around.

    At first I was really upset about working nights though I've done it now for years off and on.....I just really wanted a day job but days are insane where I work and nights, though very very busy at times, you have less distractions with you and your patient to deal with.
  3. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from busylady61
    I have a question. As someone who is planning to go to LPN school next year, I am fairly new to this.

    I see people keep making references to 12-hour shifts at hospitals. How many hours a week does that mean?

    Are the RNs working 12 hour shifts five days a week (60 hour weeks roughly) and earning overtime for anything over 40 hours? Or are they earning a flat salary with hours that vary?

    How does this work?

    P.S. I am currently a teacher who works unpaid overtime all the time, so I would really be curious to know how the overtime system works at hospitals. Thanks for any input!
    If you're currently a teacher, then you already have a bach degree. Have you looked into accelerated BSN programs? Many of them are 14 months long as opposed to 12 months for LPN and many are new programs, so there are lots of financial aid to get the programs rolling.

    The difference in salary (about 7 bucks an hour and a greater gap as you go along) and in level of responsibility and in 'entry level' status is enough to def consider looking into an accel program.

  4. by   smwalker
    What are the 12 hour shifts like? That's what I'm interested in, I only saw one example although that one was pretty good. Also, is it true that a 3 day 12 hr shift is considered a 40 hr work week?
  5. by   Maggiemay
    Personally, I love the night shift. I don't have to put up with all the nonsense from day shift. For instance No Meals to provide, fewer admissions, not nearly so many physicians to deal with. Other benefits- The stores are less crowded when I shop after work!! I have worked every shift and come back to nights every time.
    I do think the seniority thing is over-rated, but there is something to be said for earning your way into some of the premium shifts. What I DON'T agree with is having the off shifts viewed as a "bad" thing.

    Have a good shift!!!!!!!
  6. by   bradleau
    Where I work they are willing to hire new grads for days and nights. We do 12 hr shifts. I know of a day shift right now. We are in week seven with one new grad....she is doing the night shift.
  7. by   suprnurs40
    I have been out for seven months and 80% of my shifts have been twelve hour days (0700-1900). This is where a majority of learning occurs as it is the busiest time of day in my hospital. I work on a post stroke acute/long-term (placement) floor that is very heavy. I love the night shift! it is a break for one's back! However, you only have one other RN and 2 LPN's on with you (fewer seasoned nurses to turn to).
  8. by   busylady61
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    If you're currently a teacher, then you already have a bach degree. Have you looked into accelerated BSN programs? Many of them are 14 months long as opposed to 12 months for LPN and many are new programs, so there are lots of financial aid to get the programs rolling.

    The difference in salary (about 7 bucks an hour and a greater gap as you go along) and in level of responsibility and in 'entry level' status is enough to def consider looking into an accel program.


    Trust me, I would love to go straight for an accelerated BSN. Unfortunately I can't afford it. In my area, they are only offered in the daytime and that would require me to quit my teaching job for a year or so, something I can't afford to do.

    Of course there are also the online accelerated BSN's but I can't afford them either, as they are more costly than the traditional bricks-and-mortar universities in my area.

    So that leaves me with the only evening school that is available to me: LPN vocational tech. After I get the LPN degree, I can take a night shift entry level nursing job that will match my current salary, and at that point I could enroll in a daytime accelerated BSN track.

    Anyway, thanks for the suggestion.

    I am going to get that BSN one way or another!

  9. by   holtgirl
    Hi everyone, When I was a New Grad, ( a LONG time ago) we orientated on all three shifts. We charted with 3 different ink pens. Black for 7-3 shift, Green for 3-11 shift and Red for 11-7 shift. I found out HOW WONDERFUL NIGHTS WERE. I have worked the night shift for 25 years.. YEP 25 YEARS.. I have 4 children and it worked out for the best when they were young. The two older ones were in school but my younger two boys were 3 and 4 yrs. I could go to my childrens plays at school or any special event, take them to the dentist and things that had to be done in the day time. The younger two went to a preschool down the street from me, very nice and close to home. I always said I would take a day job when my baby boy graduated high school.. I NEVER DID. I did try days for awhile and the rat race drove me crazy. All of the administration people and things going on, phone ringing constantly. I also have a wonderful husband to had them at night. So i know you single moms may have a problem with night shift. But try it if you can. holtgirl
  10. by   bmh-lpn
    I started out as Day shift for 3 months as a new grad. This was to help us learn and get exposed to more stuff under more supervision. Then I was changed to my choice of either evening or night shift. My husband worked nights so I took evenings. I wanted to stay on Days but there was a senoirty thing. I waited for 2 years to get days, husband was now evenings shift d/t they stopped night shift at his employment.I never got days so I quit to stay home awhile with my 3 very young children for 2 years then went back to work at a Dr's clinic. I just could not find a good trustworthy sitter during the evening. And the expense of 3 in day daycare at the time took all my check!
  11. by   FellowRN
    When I was a new grad I was able to to get a split shift position between first and second (but I mostly worked first). It was always busy, challenging and I learned alot. Looking back it was the experience of working first shift that I needed as a new grad. If this is what you want I recommend you keep looking because as we all know there is ample opportunities out there.
  12. by   ICRN2008
    In my area almost all new grads are ending up on the night shift. I applied for three second-shift positions but in every case was offered nights. I finally settled for 3 12-hour nights per week, because at least I will have the other four evenings to spend with my husband.
  13. by   Lightning Bug RN
    Quote from RaElrA
    Hmmm. Never thought about it like that. I am a student and a night owl as well who will welcome the "rotten shift," but I do want to be in a position to learn as much as possible, and I do like to stay busy. Any suggestions? I do so want to make the right choice!
    As a nurse who works the "rotten shift" 7p to 7a, I have to tell you that if you work night shift, you most certainly will be very busy. There is a large misconception that during the night, the pts sleep, I have to tell you that for the most part that is far from the truth.

    Also, there is less staff, so each nurse has double the amount of direct pts that a day shift nurse has. Time management skills are well learned on this shift, due to necessity. The call bells are constantly lit, and there is only on nurses aid on, so for the most part we are running all night.

    Another thing is that there are PLENTY of learning opportunities on this shift. If a pt is going to go to experience Afib, chest pain, Low or Hight Blood pressure, a fall out of bed with or without a change in mental status, or become SOB, this is usually the shift that this occurs.
    The one thing I would make sure about if you do take a night shift postion, is to make sure that there are experienced nurses working that shift to assist you when someone indeed goes south.

    One thing I must say to recommend this shift is the fact that you are home during the day to be with family, and not miss alot of the things that I used to miss when I used to work evening shift.