Burnt out on Working Weekends and Holidays

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I have been a nurse for a little over a year and a half now in labor and delivery and love the work I do itself.
    However, I recently have become very burnt out. This is mainly due to scheduling. I am thinking I would like to get more into something that does not include weekends and holidays in order to spend more time with family. I currently have my BSN in nursing and was wondering what else I could do with my degree?
    Thanks!



    Dear Burnt-out in L&D,

    Most clinical positions in acute care include shift work, weekends, and holidays. And that can be a real conflict for Moms (and Dads) who want to spend weekend and holiday time with their family.

    One solution to scheduling burn-out is transitioning to a non-clinical position, such as management, or education, for example. There are many roles that allow you to work traditional M-Fri in the hospital setting, such as Informatics, Case Management, Infection Prevention, and more. It all depends on your interest. Your BSN qualifies you for many different opportunities.

    Other options include leaving the acute care setting altogether. Keep in mind that the longer and further away you are from L&D, the harder it is to get back to the bedside if you think you may want to down the line.

    Outpatient services allows you to stay in the acute care setting while enjoying more of a Mon-Fri schedule. These include Interventional Radiology, Cath Lab, PACU, and Endoscopy, although you will be required to work on-call.

    Is going part-time or per diem an option for you? Sometimes that's enough to relieve the burn-out while still keeping clinically active.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth



    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Apr 11
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,406; Likes: 4,209

    10 Comments

  3. by   Flames9_RN
    I grew to not to enjoy the 12 hr..3 shifts a week at the hospital.....figured a Mon thru Fri..8-5 would be so much better! Soon found that mon thru fri, 8-5 wasn't so grand after all.....Seems like one is always at work!! And if u need the car or a home item fixed.....trying to get someone in on a weekend to repair that item....good luck on that..have had to use PTO just to get a fridge fixed and another day when they had to come back!! Soon realized those 12 hr shifts and working the occasional weekend wasn't soo bad after all!!
    Last edit by Flames9_RN on Apr 6
  4. by   OcMurse93
    I can totally relate. It really wears down on you after a while. Imagine working 5 days per week making minimum wage with the same issues, its not fun. Before I graduated, myself and my 2 other siblings all worked in the service industry so we never got to see each other for holidays, ever. We ended up just modifying how we celebrated holidays. We celebrate Thanksgiving on Wednesday, Christmas on the 23rd or 24th (depending on schedules), etc. Sometimes it is not feasible for everyone, but this worked for us. Who says you have to celebrate the holidays on the actual day? lol
  5. by   amoLucia
    Flames9 - your post is a reason that I liked working NOCs. I could just drive to an early morning apt after I left work. Or a quick stop at Jiffy Lube. It was a pleasure to shop at my local Acme in the morning - beat out all the early morning 'Mommy traffic'.

    I just find it hard to be overly sympathetic with nurses, esp new ones, who find the commitment for weekends, holidays, odd shifts, bad weather shifts, etc to be so bothersome. Wasn't that something they thought about when contemplating career decisions?

    Oh yeah - after some years (not just 18 months) it DOES become a drag. To be able to spend normal holiday time with aging parents (not just little ones) becomes more important as we all age.

    Perhaps OP can find that desired 'golden fleece' position. But with only 18 months specialized clinical, it might be a difficult search. Esp with a lifelong career ahead of her.

    I hope she's lucky.
    Last edit by amoLucia on Apr 9
  6. by   Flames9_RN
    I think for many they think the normal Monday to Fri 8-5 is the way to go as thats the "norm" and the 12 hr shifts are a pain....then u relaize ur driving to and from work 2 extra days..which eats up minutes....gulps more gas,lol I wish I had weekdays off.....just phoned to get my ducts cleaned....sorry dont work weekends.... Blows my mind that many companies do not provide weekend services....as most couples now a days both work.....and there are a fair # of people that do prefer to work Saturday, if they get a week day off in return....as you can get errands completed a lot easier
  7. by   KelRN215
    Quote from Flames9_RN
    I grew to not to enjoy the 12 hr..3 shifts a week at the hospital.....figured a Mon thru Fri..8-5 would be so much better! Soon found that mon thru fri, 8-5 wasn't so grand after all.....Seems like one is always at work!! And if u need the car or a home item fixed.....trying to get someone in on a weekend to repair that item....good luck on that..have had to use PTO just to get a fridge fixed and another day when they had to come back!! Soon realized those 12 hr shifts and working the occasional weekend wasn't soo bad after all!!
    What you want to look for is salaried Mon-Fri positions where you can leave early or go in late when you have situations such as this pop up. The reason I accepted my current job over the clinic based jobs I also applied to is because I wanted the flexibility of working my own appointments into my day.

    I think post-partum maternal/child health home visits would be a good option for the OP.
  8. by   Daisy Joyce
    Just be aware that the trade off for better hours is usually a massive pay cut
  9. by   not.done.yet
    It is also worth noting that in some areas of the country, things like informatics and education are not open to BSN and MSN is a requirement for hire.
  10. by   riggy3
    Dear Burnt-out in L&D,
    I am having a difficult time reading you are burned out after 18 months due to working weekends and holidays. In my career I have noticed many novice nurses experience symptoms of burnout at about one to two years on the job. Really what those novice nurses were doing is questioning the choice of career.

    Even after 37 years in PACU / SICU... with an MSN... weekends and holidays are on the menu for me.
    Sorry for the lacking sympathy . Good luck to your quest
  11. by   iamnotafocker
    I can agree with you. You might try finding a job at insurance company or I talked to a nurse on the poison control hotline the other day.
  12. by   MochaRN424
    I am currently a Post-Partum Mother Baby nurse and this is my issue now. The unit is very short staffed so they are constantly looking for people to fill in. Yes we have to work weekends and holidays and not just 8 hrs and everyone use to rotate but now they want us to work the day before 12 hours and the day of 12 hours. I have been in this area of nursing for more than 4 years! I tried to find out as much as I could before I became and nurse and was NEVER told that I would have to decide between a job and family. I came from working in the business field and worked the Monday-Fri I was never tired like this. I had my weekends and holidays and was able to go to church.

    I think people who don't share the same sentiment and think it's not important to those of us who feel we are missing out on things that are important to an individual can reply coldly. I get you and I too am trying to find that work life balance. Yes I may work 3 days a week but they are 3 long 12 hour shifts and I am often too tired to enjoy my girls or husband which is time I am never going to get back unless I make changes now! I hope you find an area of nursing that will allow you to continue to be in nursing.

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