Transitioning from 12 hour shifts to Mon-Fri?

  1. Hey everyone, I've been an RN for almost 4 years, always in the ER. Lately I've been thinking I might want to eventually switch to public health. I've always been really interested in public health and when I was finishing up my BSN my community/public health class was my favorite class. I would also like more autonomy which it seems that public health would offer.

    I feel silly even asking this, but my only major concern is the switch from three 12s to five 8 hour shifts. I've worked in healthcare since I was 20 so I've never worked a Mon-Fri. The thought of no holidays and weekends is nice, but I worry if I'll hate working 5 days in a row with only two days off. It's nice having those 4 days off to do grocery shopping (I hate crowds) or schedule appointments, and the way my rotation is I have a 6 day stretch off every three weeks which makes scheduling vacations a breeze. My weekends to work though I do 5 12s within a 7 day period so obviously that's extremely exhausting. We also want to have kids in a few years and my fiancee works a Mon-Fri job, so I imagine that would be more expensive as far as child care goes.

    I like ER, but I feel that I would like public health more and be able to make more of a difference than I do in my role right now, but I'm just worried I'll hate working 5 days a week.
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    About wsoxgirl2008

    Joined: Apr '14; Posts: 32; Likes: 19


  3. by   MunoRN
    I think it completely depends on your personal preference, which will be hard for you to gauge if you've never worked M-F 9-5. I know nurses who really want those hours and are looking for how to get out of the hospital and into a M-F job, but I also know of many including myself where you couldn't pay me enough to work M-F 9-5, that's essentially equal to death, but clearly views vary.
  4. by   peripateticRN
    Having recently worked both 12s and 9-5 (well.. 830 to 5) they both have their advantages and disadvantages.
    Advantages to 9-5 include:
    Not feeling like an exhausted slug all the time. Since I've back to 'normal' hours (3+ months ago) I have napped exactly once!
    The day passes quickly - after working 12s, 8's are a breeze.
    Working with the rest of the world is kind of nice - I never get woken by the phone or mailman

    Pay is less - no shift diffs, no opportunity to work weekends or holidays or pick up OT
    I did like getting my errands done during weekdays.. now I have to shop with the rest of the population :-(
    2 days off a week doesn't feel like enough (although I never feel the same level of exhaustion on my days off, so I feel like I get an actual weekend now)

    I've got a sweet deal where I go back and forth between both (Remote PH for periods and starting as a dialysis nurse that will have shift work). I'm happy to do shiftwork for some amount of time and then go do M-F PH work for a shiftwork 'vacation'. Best of both worlds!
  5. by   Scorpio, MSN, RN
    Good luck with your transition into public health if that is what you choose to do! I spent 10 years in acute care doing three 12 hour shifts. I had the same concern about working Monday through Friday but I absolutely love it. I find I am once again in sync with the world, have a normal home routine with my family, and still manage to get errands and appointments in like the rest of the M-F world. Sometimes yes I wait a little longer in the grocery line but having a career that is fulfilling and being home with my family makes it very worth it. Good luck to you!
  6. by   cayenne06
    I did twelves forever, and really never had a standard 9-5 type job until I took this position in 2015. I was really nervous about moving to a mon-fri schedule, especially as a newly-single mom with two kids. Like, when am I supposed to go to the bank? It was definitely an adjustment period and it took me a while to figure out a new time management system.

    My number one change was getting up at least 90 minutes before my kids, so I have quiet time for coffee and reading the news, and plenty of time to make sure the house is tidy and random chores get done *before* school and work. I also use my lunch break to make phone calls, answer emails, pay bills etc, sometimes go shopping.

    I am lucky to have a ton of PTO, and I work 11-7 on thursdays so I can do appointments etc. Thank goodness for online banking and amazon! And all those years painstakingly teaching my son to be a responsible human, despite his strenuous complaints, has finally paid off. 14 years old and not only can he clean the house from top to bottom- he can do it cheerfully. It's amazing.

    Of course, once I adjusted, I started taking on extra projects at work for $$, and I also have a prn weekend job, 16 hour shifts once a month or so. There goes that work life balance haha. But it feels manageable because my normal weekly schedule is so nice, and it helps that I adore the work I do
    Last edit by cayenne06 on Mar 17 : Reason: typos ugh
  7. by   Everline
    I thought going from working 3 days a week to a 5 day work week would be really difficult. At first it did feel like I was always at work. Over time, however, I have come to like my schedule. I love my weekends, nights and holidays off. I really love my job, though, so I'm coming from that perspective. I could probably deal with all different kinds of schedules because of that.

    One day a week we get off early and I can do some of my shopping and etc during that time plus the weekends. It is difficult to schedule doctor's appointments sometimes but we accrue sick time that we can use for that purpose.

    If I could chose a work schedule, I would choose to work 10 hour days, 4 days a week.