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How long do you drive to work?


I've already accepted a position at a local hospital and am supposed to start Monday (as a new grad.. although I have already passed my boards). The thing is.. I was originally contracted with the hospital and bought it out when I was told I would have to maintain 80 hrs/pay period for 3 years. With all I have going on.. I just want to be a .9 employee and do the 36 hr/wk and def don't want to pay them interest on all of that if I get to 2.5 years and have a baby or something and quit work all together. So anyway- I bought out the contract figuring I could do 36 hrs/wk. Now the manager of my unit says all new grads have to work 40 hrs/wk on their floor and after the 1st year IF staffing permits.. you can drop to 36. There's just been a lot of miscommunication and misleading information. :banghead:

I do have the opportunity to take a position in the exact area of care I want as a new graduate... the NICU! The thing is.. it's a couple hours away. My brother and his wife live there, and my husband and I plan to move there in May for him to continue his education. so I'm in need of some advice. Is it absolutely crazy for me to drive this once a week up and back in order to work there before we move... or should I just stick with the position here that I don't really care for just to keep things simple until May?! Am I being unrealistic? ANY help or ideas or tips would be greatly appreciated!


Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, Oncology, Rehab, LTAC.

I used to drive 2 hours away from home for a job. It got old, but if there is a light at the end of the tunnel and your husband will eventually move there...I would go for it. It won't be easy, but if the job in the NICU would make you happy then it will be worth it. Besides, it seems like the other hospital is anything but honest and you will probably be miseralble there which will make being a new RN all that harder. Just my opinion. Hope it helps.


Specializes in Pediatrics.

My first job out of college (the first time around) was about an hour and a half drive one way, 212 miles round trip, mostly interstate. I hated the place and only started out at $7/hr. I was quite miserable.

BUT, if this is your dream job and you would only be driving it for 5 months, I think it would be a lot more bearable. Would you be working 8 hr shifts? A 2 hour commute on top of a 12 hr shift might be a little much.

ghillbert, MSN, NP

Specializes in CTICU. Has 20 years experience.

I drive 2 miles. I hate living far from work - I'm too lazy to waste any more sleeping time than I need to!

newohiorn, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Acute care, Community Med, SANE, ASC. Has 8 years experience.

It sounds like driving that far for 4 or 5 months until you move might be the thing to do. I work with several people who drive at least 2 hours, stay in town to work their shifts and then go home--and they have no intention of moving. My hospital subsidizes their hotel rooms while they are in town and one person keeps an apartment in town.

I would do 3 12s (nights).. and stay there in between shifts (hoping i can do all three back to back)with probably my brother and his wife.... so only equaling out to driving it once a week.

it's such a hard choice! I'm so mad at this hospital here because they've told us nothing but lies... but it seems to be so much easier to go along with it and only working about 10 minutes away and save money. I just don't want to miss this opportunity if we're going to be moving so soon anyway. but in moving soon.. I know I won't have to put up with this place too long. it's such a hard choice! I'm terrible at decision making!

Hey! Thanks for the info! I've got very positive responses that it IS doable to drive it. I know it would get old.. but when it's all said and done might be the most beneficial thing to do. I still am weighing out options.. as it is such a tough decision, but I thank you all for the responses! I would love to hear more experiences !

I drive 2 miles. I hate living far from work - I'm too lazy to waste any more sleeping time than I need to!

yeah! I know it'll get very old.. just hoping the opportunity.. and the fact we'll be moving there in May kind of helps make it not sound so crazy.. =) Still weighing options though.. this is a tough one!


Specializes in psych. rehab nursing, float pool. Has 30 years experience.

Is staying with your brother and his wife an option on the days you have to work. That way you could cut down on how often you are driving that far. 2 hour drive is doable, as you said it will only be for a few months.

that would be the plan hopefully to only have to drive it once a week.. do my 3 days in a row and then come back home the rest of the time until May. That would be ideal.. if the manager of course would be able to do that schedule-wise.

Let's see... if you work AM shift... wake up early enough to shower and get ready for work, drive 2 hours to work (and get there early to get rept), work 12.5 hours (b/c really, you probably won't get done until 1/2 hour after you're supposed to), drive home 2 more hours after being on your feet all day. That is a VERY long day... too much for me.

Maybe if you could get the hospital to let you work your 3 shifts on consecutive days and stay with your brother, like others have already posted, then that wouldn't be so bad.

Good luck. I only drive 15 mins to work. I hate a long commute after a long day!

FlyingScot, RN

Specializes in Peds/Neo CCT,Flight, ER, Hem/Onc. Has 28 years experience.

I think I described what you are in for pretty clearly here:


If you are truly only going to have to do it until May then I believe it's doable but if there is any chance that your moving is going to fall through I think you should reconsider for all of the reasons I listed in the above post. Please read it I put a lot of thought into it. I had a nearly identical commute and work situation you are describing for 18 months and I nearly lost my mind. The drive never bothered me it was the aftermath of night shift and being gone for days and days at a time. The likelihood of your being able to consistently schedule three days in a row is very slim. In reality you will find yourself staying with your sister for nearly a week. You need to also consider how seriously this might affect your marriage. Especially when you come home exhausted to find dirty laundry all over the place and dishes in the sink. If you have any questions PM me.


Specializes in ER. Has 4 years experience.

I used to live 45 miles from work, then I got laid off. Now my new job is 13 miles with 3 12's. I'll drive as much in one week as I used to in one day.

With what you've posted, I'd do it if it were me.


Specializes in ER,ICU,L+D,OR. Has 25 years experience.

My distance is almost 20 miles

Often I bike to and from weather permitting. Which in Texas is really a lot. Other days I take my EV car made by NMG that I just bought. It is so cute.

Hoozdo, ADN

Specializes in ICU, Research, Corrections. Has 15 years experience.

I think it is very "doable" if you work 3 days (or nights) in a row and have reliable transportation. I am working at a seasonal position and I have been doing this since November with no problems. I work 90 miles from my house and rent a room close to my job.

It can be a little rough on the marriage. You will be also stressed as a new grad; factor that into the equation. If it is your dream job, then go for it!

Roy Fokker, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER/Trauma.

I drive about 3 minutes in the winter (thanks to all the blessed traffic lights).

In the summer, I bike - or walk! :)

Yes, I live roughly a mile away from work.

And yes, I only fill my gas tank once about every 45 days...



Specializes in Med Surg, Mental Health. Has 3 years experience.

I'm lucky I think. I drove 2200 miles to work at a seasonal place in YUMA. I am Nights 7p-7a. I live 1.7miles by car from the back door. I can sleep into 6:10 PM and be on the floor early!! :coollook: I am growing tired of the medsurge area and am looking forward to another venture this next assigmnet. I think I am gonna settle down at the next hospital I feel comfortable with. YUMA is small. Not much of a chance to advance my degree (RN - MSN). Other wise I like the commute time. If this is a job that can help you decide if you'd like this area of work, then try it!!

You learn from trying. The smart ones learn from other's failed attempts :heartbeat

Thanks for the time.

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