Like the job, hate the nurse's schedule

by echmorrill echmorrill (New) New

Is it okay to ask for reduced hours as a new grad nurse?

  1. 1. Is it okay to ask for reduced hours as a new grad nurse?

    • 1
      No, be grateful for the job in this economy
    • 0
      No, wait until at least 6 months
    • 0
      No, wait at least a year
    • 0
      No, wait longer than a year
    • 0
      Yes, you can ask at any time

1 member has participated

I have worked SO HARD to become a nurse. I quit my cushy desk job, went back to school, racked up huge amounts of student loans, and finally, FINALLY, I am a nurse. In an ER, no less, which is exactly what I wanted! It's a supportive environment (if busy), and even though the work is really hard and I sometimes feel like I'm drowning, I do potentially see the light at the end of the tunnel if I just stick with it.

But I'm not sure I want to.

(Sorry for the long post - Skip to the very end for the actual question/point of this post)

I had a baby in the middle of all of this, and now we're ready for a second. I work two 12s and two 8s, with mandatory every other weekend/holiday. Days go by when I don't see my husband. I am lucky if I get an hour with my baby in the morning before I head off for my back-to-back 12s (11am-11:30pm). That hour is foggy and not very high quality due to the fact that I'm constantly recovering from my last shift. The commute is an hour, but that's what I had to take if I wanted an ER job as a new grad. My husband works full time and leaves very early, so I'm up with the baby even though I get home at 12:30pm or later.

I HATE that every day, every week is different. There is no predictability. We just moved to this town, and I can't join any baby gym classes or playgroups or whatever to try to meet people because my hours are different every single week. Friends from work don't help because, like I said, it's an hour (48 miles to be exact) away from our house. We have no family, no friends here, and we are so isolated.

As a brand new nurse, I don't feel like I can ask to go per diem or for reduced hours (and honestly, we need the money).

I am constantly exhausted, constantly playing catch-up. The thought of another baby right now is laughable (my husband and I don't see each other often enough to even get the deed done....). I had hyperemesis with my first and I cannot imagine trying to work in the ER and deal with that. But hubbie is 41 and we don't want to wait forever (our "baby" is 19 months).

I am four months into my new job, and I am miserable. I cannot imagine continuing with this for the full 12 months I promised myself I would do before I made any changes. I could handle suckiness if it were just me but my whole family is suffering, and it's not like I can ever get these early years with my baby back. But I am devastated to think all that time and money for school would be wasted if I quit, not to mention fearful that I wouldn't have a career in the wings to fall back on should anything happen to my husband.

I just don't know what to do. Is it unreasonable to ask for reduced hours as a brand new nurse or do I need to suck it up until I've hit some milestone, like six months or year?



62 Posts

I would ask your supervisor about this problem...sounds like personal issue to me. Maybe you guys can work things out if you tell them about your predicament. If you think this job is doing more harm than good to your body and family, then I think it's best to switch to different department. ER can be pretty hectic on certain days especially for new grads. But this is just my opinion though, it really depends on how you think you can handle it.