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Psych NPs working in hospitals. What are your hours?

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I am approaching the end of my first full year as a psych NP. I am not sure I want to renew my contract. I work at a FHQC mental health clinic. I was hoping to stay here for awhile and perhaps get loan forgiveness. But I am finding myself overwhelmed these last few months. I knew the transition from RN to provider would be challenging but I don't like feeling burned out this early! Things have gotten worse since Covid19 and we have been working from home. At first, I thought I would enjoy working from home, but I have found it more time consuming and we have not gotten any more time in between patients. I feel like I am always working. Even before the shutdown, I never left the clinic at 5. I was there till 6-7 pm. I start seeing patients at 8:00 am. I miss working 3 days a week! I find the slog of working 5 days a week draining. Maybe if I left the office on time, it wouldn't be so bad, but that never happens. I even spend my lunch hour doing documentation.

I just knew when I started working as an NP that I would only work outpatient. Now I find that I miss working in the hospital setting. I was looking forward to never having to work holidays and weekends ever again. But I think I would prefer that if I could have some semblance of balance in my life again. I have seen some positions posted, though not many for positions with 10 days on, 10 days off, or 15 days on and 15 days off. Does anyone work a schedule like that? I think I would prefer that schedule than 8:00 am to 5 pm (which is more like 8am-6 or 7pm) 5 days a week.

Maybe things would be different in private practice. I don't think an NP in private practice has to do all the things we have to do - So maybe working in private practice would be an option, but like I said, I just find working 5 days a week such a drag.

Thanks for reading.

verene, MSN

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

I work inpatient, and there is some schedule flexibility to work either 8s or 10s for set schedule (many chose to work 4 10s). However, if there is work that needs to be done, you may come in early or work late, or work an extra day or partial day. (Fortunately management is very much okay with this so long as you are clearly working and not abusing the system for extra hours).

Perhaps rather than jumping setting you can look at renegotiating for part-time work? Maybe working 3-4 days a week would feel better? Also - documentation wise - do you have templates that help speed your process? Are you able to concurrently document during appointments? (this can save a LOT of time at the end of the day). Is your typing speed slow and could you get dictation software if this is the case? (I know many who swear by it, though I prefer typing my notes).

I’m a new grad PMHNP with a 3 12 hour shifts at a large teaching hospital in their psych emergency department. So the three twelve schedule that you are used to from nursing is possible out there. You would probably have to compromise other things for it tho because teaching hospitals usually pay less and in this setting the patients are definitely the most acute. However all the providers (PAs, NPs, MDs) seem to love it due to the work/life balance. They all mention that they love being able to come to work, do their job, and just go home without worrying about documentation since you are given the time/help to complete it. So it’s something to consider and look into near you!

I work in an adolescent unit M-F 8-5 and also feel completely burnt out! I also have to cover call 1-2 nights each week and work one weekend a month. For about a year I was working 4 10s Sunday-Wednesday and my work life balance was great! I've just started to look for a position that will allow for a similar work schedule.

Thank you for all the responses,

Verene, I can't afford to reduce my hours. I really just want a balance in my life. I worked 40 hrs in 3 days for most of my career as an RN, so long work days don't bother me. It's doing it every day, and now even on weekends as I find working from home, even more time consuming.

The EHR we use has its own template for psych evals and med management and its awful and cumbersome. They are supposed to be replacing it with something better soon so we shall see. Never thought about dictation software. I am not sure if I can use it though. I would have to get IT to install it.

Before Covid, I would sometimes be able to document as I was seeing a patient. Now that we are working from home, Its hard to do that now with Zoom since I am on a totally different screen with Zoom and would have to switch screens for documentation.

Landolakes, I would love to go back to working 3 12s!

Hi Erin, Good luck in your job search for 4 10s. I think I am going to polish up my resume and start looking. It's too early in my career to feel this burned out.

Thanks again for all your replies.

JourneyToCNM, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Labor & Delivery. Has 4 years experience.

Hi I am not a PMHNP, I am a student in another APRN speciality. However, I came across your thread and I have a suggestion that may help you with your telehealth from home. My preceptor is doing the same and she has dual monitors so she can see the patient on one monitor and the other monitor she live charts on the EMR. It is very efficient. I hope this information helps you through these challenging times.

MiaLyse, APRN

Specializes in Psychiatry. Has 18 years experience.

I am a new graduate PMHNP-BC who is looking for her first job. My first offer has been a 1099 position which I am leaning against due to the lack of benefits and all the work that must be done before one would even see a cashflow. So, I continue to search and I have been looking at jobs that allow 4 10's or 5 8's. 3 12's would be nice but I don't believe I'd find that in an outpatient setting.

oystersinmay, MSN, APRN

Has 7 years experience.

On 7/5/2020 at 9:18 PM, MiaLyse said:

I am a new graduate PMHNP-BC who is looking for her first job. My first offer has been a 1099 position which I am leaning against due to the lack of benefits and all the work that must be done before one would even see a cashflow. So, I continue to search and I have been looking at jobs that allow 4 10's or 5 8's. 3 12's would be nice but I don't believe I'd find that in an outpatient setting.

I'm a PMHNP-BC and I work 4 10's in an outpatient setting. Honestly, from my experience, it seems many organizations are willing to negotiate 4 10s, especially in areas with high need for psychiatric providers. Just my experience anyway when I was job searching as a new grad....