schedule questions

Nurses General Nursing


I just graduated in May and am starting my new job in July. I have 2 children and my DH and I are figuring out childcare.I prefer to have a somewhat set schedule, so we can find a daycare more easily, most want something set in stone! I need to ask my unit director exactly how the scheduling is, but I dont want to seem like I am making special requests for scheduling before I even start. How should I go about this and not sounding like a complainer!!

Specializes in ER; HBOT- lots others.

She/He will understand. you need to speak up bluntly but nicely and professionaly right away. they understand that its the real world and that is what has to be done. not a biggie.


Whispera, MSN, RN

3,458 Posts

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

Agreed. I've never found a scheduler to be uncooperative--they know we have lives!

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

You have my sympathy. It is VERY hard to plan child-care around nursing schedules (particularly hospital nurses). What happens if you get called in on your day off? What if you are taking call? What if you work OT? A lot of facilities are trying to cut down on OT, but this is a 24/7 operation and sometimes you will be needed at unscheduled dates/times. Develop a list of family and friends to call upon in case of emergency and search for a flexible day care (they need to staff too, so need to know how many to plan for). As for asking your supervisor, I think it depends on how you phrase your question. If you make it sound like you are the only one with kids that would not get you any points.


85 Posts

I have a similar question about scheduling but don't want to start another thread since it's basically the same question. After graduating I want to work two full time jobs to pay off my student loans, car loans, credit card debt and mortgage ASAP. I want to work 3 12 hours shifts at one hospital and 3 12 hour shifts at another hospital. Would it be possible to have a schedule that is set in stone and does not change from week to week or month to month?

JB2007, ASN, RN

554 Posts

Specializes in LTC, Med-SURG,STICU.

Just be honest with the person who does the scheduleing and tell them that you need to have as routine a schedule as possible. Most nurses have had to deal with child care issues at one time or another. I would also make it very clear to the daycare that you are a nurse and while you will do your best to have a routine and get there on time there will be days that you will be running behind. Also, do you have family or friends close by that you can trust to care for your child in the event that you or you husband can not get to the daycare on time. When my children where young I always had back up plans and most of the time back up for the back up. Things happen and it is better for everyone if you have a set plan in place for when those things come to pass. It save me a time or two.

Specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU.

Be honest, but DO NOT ACT ENTITLED. Be willing to work with them as much as possible such as staying late on occasion, working an extra weekend they ask you to. I am sure they will be more than happy to accomodate.


250 Posts

Agree w/JoPACURN, be willing to work w/them but do not act entitled- everyone has a life outside of work, & coming in, esp. as a newbie you have to be willing to compromise- as do all staff. Managers are more understanding of family needs than in years gone by, but flexibility on the part of all staff is expected/required. You will not make any friends by requesting special days off for every little thing, esp. last minute requests, & I have yet to see a schedule that is "set in stone". Anyone who has ever done staffing/scheduling knows what a nightmarish headache it is. Good luck!


37 Posts

Thank-you for all the replies!

I didnt mean that the hospitals schedules are set in stone, I meant that most daycare centers arent as flexible and want your childs schedule to be the same each week, and with a nursing schedule that may not be possible-not sure if I made that part clear!

I would prefer to work nights and weekends, but the facility I am at works 3-12 hour shifts, and the next week, 3 12's and an 8, and during my interview with the director, I got the impression that I would be working daylights only until I get more comfortable to work nights.


295 Posts

Seagate: most hospitals require certain WE and holiday schedules. it is almost impossible to work full time at two different places and meet these requirements. Having said that, please think very hard before you set yourself up to work 72 hours in a week! You will be too exhausted to enjoy your family on your one day off and you will hit the burn out wall at full speed really fast~

Specializes in Peds Hem, Onc, Med/Surg.

Good luck with that. I would also ask the nurses around you because mine was a "self schedule" and I hardly ever get the days I asked for. Its so annoying.

You can ask because not all units schedule the same.

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