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Staying late - effect on pay


Hi all!

I know policy varies from hospital to hospital, but I'll soon be a GN working 7a-7p, and am curious to hear some versions of how the hours and pay work. Firstly, as a student, we had to get in early to get report (0645), this usually remains the case for RNs, yes? So, would these 15 minutes be paid in addition to the 12 hours of the shift? If so, is it at a night pay rate? Also, I hear repeatedly that nurses have a hard time getting out on time, so when staying after 1900, is it on a evening pay rate? In other words, is there a good chance that my 36 hour weeks aren't actually so? :bugeyes:

Medic2RN, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, IICU, PCU, PACU, EMS. Has 15 years experience.

In the hospitals I've worked, the 7a-7p shift is actually 0645 to 1915. You will be paid for 12 hours because the extra 15 minutes at each end is to cover the unpaid lunch break. Additional time after 1915 would be paid on the night diff. At least this is where I work.

If I get to leave an hour late, I now consider that 'on time'.


Specializes in ER, PCU, ICU.

We work 1845 to 0715, I know other units have a 15 to 03 shift. We're mandated to take a 1/2 hour unpaid lunch and two 15 minute paid breaks for a total of 12 hours.

I usually get to work 5 or 10 minutes early. If the unit is hammered, I'll jump right in and clock in early. I justify it on the time sheet and have the night charge initial it. If I run late more than 15 minutes, I count the time on my time sheet.

When the same dayshift RN (as the day before) follows me, I usually only give updates and report goes very quickly, sometimes I can leave by 0700. I mark down that I'm there until 0715. Other days when I have a new (to the patient) RN and report goes long or I do a joint bedside assessment with the oncoming, I'll be there later than 0715. I don't mark this time unless it goes past 0730. It's pretty much a wash.

If we're pulling our weight around the unit, our manager is cool with it. There's 185 staff RNs in the unit I work on, some she lets get away with a lot... others not so much. Depends on the person and whether they're an asset or a liability. Hard work is rewarded with significant flexibility both on the time sheet and on the schedule.

CABG patch kid, BSN, RN

Specializes in Telemetry, CCU.

At my job we aren't allowed to clock in more than 7 minutes early, because if you do it gets rounded to 15 minutes and will technically make you go into overtime so its a big no no. However, lots of people do come a bit early just to get their assignment and get started looking at labs or whatever. I usually just clock in at 1853 and go get report. Our shift is from 1900-0730 with 30 minutes for lunch. If you stay longer than 0737 (after our 7 minute window) you will go into overtime. I'm pretty sure the rate doesn't change, because you will be getting time and a half or double time, depending on how many hours you have for the week and your state laws.

These are all things that you should find out during your hospital orientation. Your HR dept. is usually the one that knows all the details about pay here. Also, your fellow nurses will be able to tell you the details as well. Congrats on your new job, I hope it goes well for you!


Specializes in Emergency Dept. Has 10 years experience.

Our shifts are fifteen minutes before and fifteen after to account for lunch break. Beyond that automatically taken out thirty minutes, we get paid if we are stuck there late, but it is at the same rate as our regular shift (no added evening or night differential.)

Thanks you guys! I'm sure that's how it'll work for me as well - to account for lunch. Now to see how often I actually get a thirty minute lunch break!!

Thanks you guys! I'm sure that's how it'll work for me as well - to account for lunch. Now to see how often I actually get a thirty minute lunch break!!

Good luck with that ;)

Bottom line is, each unit and each facility work differently. Sometimes you get a decent break, sometimes you're lucky to get the the bathroom. I'm not kidding. Sometimes you have time to eat while doing the chart checks (MAR checks) and sometimes, not (because you really don't even have time for those, but somehow manage to get them done before change of shift). When it's an easy-going night, we have time to kick back a bit, even though we don't get "official" breaks --who is taking care of my busy patients while I'm off the floor? Once in awhile, go get some air. Every night for a half hour? I don't think so.

As for the pay thing, we're not supposed to clock in more than a few minutes prior to shift; we're supposed to START our shift (meaning taking report) at 1900. Some nurses do roll right onto the floor at 1900 on the money and swipe in on the way. Some are responsible enough to get there early enough to be ready to take report 10-15 minutes early, IF the nurse we're relieving is ready to do so. Sometimes, I'm swiping in 10 minutes before shift, and I'm not GETTING report until a quarter after. Just how it is sometimes.

I'm paid on the evening differential until 2300. Night differential is 2300-0700, no variances. After 0700, night differential ends, and I'm paid straight time, same as day shift. Same for the other shifts: staying late for charting on any shift means getting whatever the next shift pays. But you can bet if it's abused (meaning one or two nurses are always dallying while the rest aren't) then they're warned to get done in less time.

If your facility is at all decent, I wouldn't be worrying about the ten minutes here and fifteen minutes there: it all works out eventually. Getting my work done competently is far more important than whether I'm under or overpaid a couple of dollars!

RainDreamer, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 16 years experience.

Our shift if from 1900-0730, that's 12 hours of paid time with 30 minutes for lunch (although we all usually take 1 hour for lunch).

I never stay late, even on the busiest of busy nights, I never stay past 0730 .... we all work to help each other get out on time. So for me, if I don't work an extra shift, then my paycheck has 72 hours on it.

BittyBabyGrower, MSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, educator.

We are the same as one other person...we can't swipe in before 7 minutes til the hour. We get report from 7-730 (or whatever shift it is), and 99% of the time everyone is out on time. If we stay late one day, we can leave that amount of time early another day if our work is done. Evens out and no OT to be paid out.

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