Moving from Shift to Shift

Students CNA/MA


I need to get an apartment so I can get my little girl.

My plan is to take a two week CNA course, get certified, and then look for a night job (10 -6). I will work that shift until I get some skills, and then I hope to move to evening shift (2-10). When I get the evening shift down I want to move to the morning shift (6-2). I want the morning shift so I can work while my little girl is in school, and then we can spend the evenings together.

I figure it will take me about six months to get fast enough for the day shift. I have looked into getting an apartment and most complexes require six months on the job. So, I am hoping to get my little girl in January.

My question hard is it to change shifts? Will the nursing home let me move around, or do they want to keep people on the same shift?

fuzzywuzzy, CNA

1,816 Posts

Specializes in LTC.

You shouldn't have a problem getting hired for 2nd or 3rd, but day shift is usually full. Where I work they don't even hire for day shift. Those hours are the most desirable, so if they didn't hire from within they wouldn't have enough people applying for 3-11. They always hire you on 2nd and you have to wait till someone leaves to get on days, which can be quite a long time.

I think you should just aim for the shift you want right off. Apply for all of them so you're more likely to get a call back/interview, and if a place offers you 1st or 2nd shift, take it. Don't waste your time "graduating" to earlier shifts. The hardest part about starting out is learning how to organize your time and get used to the routine and what the residents like on that particular shift, so every time you switch it's going to be a little bit like starting all over again, on top of disrupting your sleep schedule. I don't really see any benefit to starting out on 3rd except that you'd have time to study the care plans , so when you move to a shift that has meals, showers, and walks, you wouldn't have to look it up or ask others.

And first and second shift are essentially the same. I normally work 2nds, but I've filled in on 1st a few times and you do AM care (some of that is already done by 3rd shift) and breakfast, finish your AM care and showers, then lunch, then walks and snacks and vitals and lay-downs.

On second you get everyone up, do walks and vitals, supper, HS care and showers, snacks. Same stuff, backwards order. You just don't have that extra meal to pass. Then again you have less staff and 3rd shift doesn't do any of your work. So it evens out.

honestly I have had two different CNA jobs on the three years I have been a CNA and both had been on day shift. Being in school the whole time, night shift would not have worked and I really didn't want to work 2nd shift. I had no experience for the nursing home and only 8 months experience when I started at the hospital. At the hospital i work for now at least 3 people have come to day shift. Basically the day shift jobs are out there you just have to keep looking and moving shifts isn't too hard.

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