I'm 34 and a pre-nursing student. I'm also an avid writer and have been torn between becoming a Journalist and a Nurse. I register for classes again on 11/16 and need to have made a choice by then. One of my goals is to be able to travel and have some fun on weekends once I hit 40 and my kids are older. I was wondering how scheduling works in the hospitals? I know there are 8 and 12 hour shifts, but how hard is it to get a weekend or two off per month? I'm sorry if this sounds naieve, but I don't want to go into a career that may end up being wrong for me.

Tweety, BSN, RN

32,726 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 31 years experience.

We have to work every other weekend where I work currently. My first job we did one weekend a month because there were plenty of people who wanted to work weekends only. So it varies.

I would count on working every other weekend because that seems pretty standard for newbies. :)

Good luck to you!

Specializes in LTC/Peds/ICU/PACU/CDI. Has 27 years experience.

hiya phoenix72!

i would like to first congratulate you on returning to university! the major manner not as long as you return because that is what you wish to do. you've mentioned either majoring in nursing or journalism...i say why not do both? you see, as a nurse, you'll have many opportunities to work in absolutely all sorts of areas within the nursing field, including nursing magazines/journals. you could quite possibly start your nursing career at the bedside or become a editor or journalist in a nursing magazine by way of staff or freelance.

as far as schedules are concerned, most full-time hospital positions (3-12's) will typically require nurses to work at least every third weekend (1st & 2nd weeks monday/tuesday/wednesday, wednesday/thursday/friday, two days in a row with one off in-between (monday/tuesday/friday) or every-other day (monday/wednesday/friday); 3rd week you may have to work part of a weekend (thursday/friday/saturday, saturday/sunday/monday, or any variable with either saturday &/or sunday plus another weekday. some facilities actually will consider friday as a weekend day as well. so you can quite possibly have three weekends off in a row, or work part of a weekend each weekend to make up a full weekend per month (1st wk friday/saturday plus one other day, next wk sunday/monday plus one other day, next week - may not involve any wkend days at all...etc.

now if you work (5-8's), typically, you'll have to work either every other weekend or you maybe required to work your (5-8's) in a row...typically with the weekends off. you'll fine these nursing positions in the o.r., pacu, sergy centers, pre-admission testing, physician's offices, schools, employee health...etc.

then there are agencies that you could work at (after about one or two years working within a hospital or at a long term care center). the thing about working agency or travel companies is that you can self schedule around your personal needs & the pay is usually immediate (same or next day pay). the downfall is that you risk being cancelled with agencies and the other are benefits. if you work full-time with those companies, you'll probably can be assured of having benefits.

hope i wasn't too long winded~

good luck in your endeavors - what ever they maybe ~ cheers :cheers:,


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