Has Nursing Impacted Your Family/Social Life?


Hi everyone,

I am a prospective nursing student, but there are a few things that are preventing me from committing to it. I really want a job that means something, and where I will be able to help people, and nursing seems very interesting to me. However, I am concerned about the workload and schedule of nurses. It is very important to me to have free time to spend with my family and friends, and I am worried that a career in nursing will not offer me this.

Has your family life/social life been negatively impacted by your nursing career? Do you find that you have a lot of time for yourself, or is most of your time spent resting after long shifts?

Also, do you feel that as a nurse you are truly making a difference?

Thank you so much everyone :)

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

4 Articles; 7,907 Posts

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

If anything, it is nursing school that will be what wrecks your social life and eats up your free time, because it's very intense and high pressure. I felt like I had no life for two years...then once I passed the NCLEX, I got my life back.

I work 8s (8 hour shifts), so I still have a lot of my day left to myself when I'm done. I do 4-5 shifts a week depending on how I'm feeling. If I want more time, 4; more money, 5.

The advantage of working 12s is that you only work 3 days and have 4 off, so plenty of long weekends if you wing it right. However, the downside is that during those 3 working days, you are pretty much wiped out.

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

You sound young? :) It didn't seem to be as much as a concern for those us who are older during school and work is kind of what you make of it however do plan on working holidays. I'm sucked into the overtime trap so yes my social life and family life has suffered and I'm exhausted on my few days off but most days I do feel as if I have made a difference in someone else's life and that is priceless. Good luck.


56 Posts

haha yes, i am 18. do you have to work all holidays? i am just concerned that if I have a family I won't be able to spend time with them, and this is not something that I would be okay with. Do you think I should look into a different career? Or is it manageable?


274 Posts

Specializes in med-surg, OR.

Most of nursing is shift work, and there are not that many 9-5, Mon-Fri. jobs within it. You may need extensive nursing experience, before you would be hired in an area with 9-5 hours, because alot of other people also want to work in those areas. Most people do not like to work holidays, weekends, nights, ect. But this is the sacrifice we as nurses make, its usually part of the job description. I don't want to discourage you from nursing, but if good hours are important to you, you may want to consider going into another field.


517 Posts

A lot of the schedule issues depend on where you work. I'm in a hospital but because they pay more for people who work weekends, even though when you are hired they tell you you have to work every other weekend, you may not work any at all since other staff request to work only weekends. We also work rotating holidays (essentially every other holiday) which isn't too bad since census tends to drop for us on major holidays which means you may not have to work. And again, there are sometimes those who want to work holidays because we get paid more.

I was a traditional student in a BSN program and didn't find my social life in school to be much different than my non-nursing friends. I'd say the biggest difference was my schedule was more "set" in terms of classes so while my friends could manage to not have classes on Fridays, I didn't have the same option. Working 12 hour shifts, I find that I have more free time than my friends and family who aren't in healthcare because I work 3 days a week while most of them work 5.


3 Posts

I work 12 hour shifts, and in a pay period I work 7/14 days. which is great for the time off. Everyother weekend is free. as for holidays, we go by the schedule, but our hospital will essentially try and make it so if you work say christmas this year, you wont work it next year, unless you want to and there are hours. One of my best friends is a nurse and she works 8 hour shifts, and essentially she has more time off in a work day (work a day shift and off at 3 and free to do whatever) she is still going to work way more often than i do and has less time to spend wiht family and friends.

shifts are simply a fact of nursing life. You need to be prepared for that unless you get lucky and find a place that offers lines with straight days or nights or evenings.

and i agree with everyone else here, nursing school was the only real part where i found i had no life. it drains you more than working with patients.

Most places accomadate people when it comes to holidays and time off, mainly because no one wants to work every holiday, and unions wont allow it anyways.

WoosahRN, MSN, RN

1 Article; 278 Posts

Specializes in PICU. Has 10 years experience.

I work 3 12 a week on nights. While night shift can be anti-social I know a ton of people that do it SO they can spend more time with their family. They go home, take kids to school, sleep while they are at school and then are with family all afternoon until they go to work again (if a returning shift). If anything I tend to have more days off because I work shifts in a row so I can stay on a regular schedule with sleeping/working, etc. I usually won't do more than 3 in a row but I have had several schedules where I end up with 8 days off and I am still working my required shifts (ex: work 6 shifts over 7 days). At my job we do self-scheduling so I can arrange my schedule any way I want with the exception of our weekend requirements (every third weekend).