Published Aug 3, 2017
I just BARELY started working as an RN. When I mean barely, I mean I'm still in orientation and will officially start working with a preceptor on 8/7.
My issue is that I won't be able to attend church service on Sunday mornings. I know to some it may be unusual but I have never missed a church service and I feel heartbroken that I might have to. I am working 7A to 7P and I told the manager that I can work sundays, just not 7A to 7P. I can do 7P to 7A but the manager said that's not allowed. I do understand what I got myself into and I know patient care is 24/7. But what can I do or what advice can anyone give me?
Not sure what you can do -- you took a position that requires you to work some Sunday mornings. Did you think to discuss the work schedule and weekend requirements before you accepted the job? In the future, if it's really important to you to be free on all Sunday mornings to attend church, you will need to take positions that don't require you to work on Sunday mornings.
How often are you going to have to work weekends? I would guess that you will probably have at least half of your weekends off. If the Sundays are really a deal-breaker for you, you can always resign this position and look for another that will accommodate your schedule, but new grad jobs don't just grow on trees these days. How much time and effort did it take you to find your current position? Is it worth it to you to go through that again?
Lots of nurses are active and faithful members of various religions, and attend worship services on a regular basis, but miss services at times because of work responsibilities. Is never missing a church service something that you want or something that you need?
Welcome to allnurses -- best wishes for your journey!
Thank you so much for responding! And yes spoke with HR before I even accepted it job and I asked if on Sunday's I could work nights and the HR lady said it was no problem at all. I understand HR isn't the one who works on the unit and scheduler. I have to work 2 weekends a month and I don't have a problem with Saturdays. My church is the biggest part of my life and it was hard for me to get this job. And I do understand that I won't get everything that I want and I don't think I should have priority over those who have more experience than me. I just want to see if there's anything else I can do.
One thing you could try, as you get to know people at work, is to ask around about whether anyone would be willing to swap days with you -- some coworkers might be willing to work Sundays for you if you work Saturdays for them. If you're willing to work more Saturdays, that might be a way to get your Sundays off. You would have to go through your nurse manager to do that. I've done something similar in the past -- I was part of a team in which each of us worked one evening a week (Mon-Fri), and we hired someone new who announced, after she took the job, that she really didn't want to work any evenings. I really hate working early mornings and don't mind evenings, so I agreed to swap her evening shift for one of my early day shifts.
People like having Saturdays off -- that might work for you.
And, lesson learned -- the HR people typically don't know anything about scheduling (and other "real life" issues) work in nursing, and they don't like giving people bad news. They say, "Oh, that will be fine" to most anything, and take no responsibility later for having given you bad info. You really need to talk to the nurse manager about specifics of any job.
hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I
You don't say what church you belong to and you don't have to but I would encourage you to talk to your spiritual advisor about any church attendance requirements. I am a Catholic and it is a tenant of my faith that I attend services on Sunday. Catholics make it easy as they will typically have 3 to4 services at different times on Sunday. The priest at my church told me that "Work in the service of others." fulfills my Sunday obligation. I can think of no other job where service of others is more prominent than in nursing.
I attend in the Church of Christ and it is nondenominational. Our church is pretty small right now so we have service on Wednesday and Sunday Morning. It's really hard for me because I'm a choir member and I help teach the children in my church. Thank you so much for your advice, I'll try speaking with them and see what else I can do. I don't mind working all Saturdays only if I'm able to attend worship service.
Is it that you want to specifically attend *your* church service on Sundays? Or is the priority simply to be able to worship on Sundays? If you are working in a hospital setting, there may be services offered in the chapel. Even at my tiny hospital we have multiple service times for protestant and Catholic worship. They are short and sweet (30 minutes? which seems like 5 minutes on our busy tele floor!) and my coworkers and I have no problem watching each other's patients when we attend.
Otherwise, get to know your coworkers and offer to switch shifts like crazy. If you are unencumbered by other obligations (school/family), your coworkers will be thrilled to know there is someone who can swap shifts at the drop of a hat, and will most likely return the favor. Also, on my floor there are many nurses who covet the weekend shifts and the accompanying pay differential, so you may find similar folks in your workplace.
Last but not least, pray about it. Maybe you will find peace with working on Sundays, or the resolve to resign and find another position with Sundays off.
chacha82, ADN, BSN
You are right, nursing is 24/7. If you want to do inpatient nursing, there will be lots of schedule sacrifices unheard of in 9 - 5, M - F jobs. You'll work at least one major holiday, like Thanksgiving or Christmas, and if you were hired for days, they will expect you to work some Sundays. If you accepted a dayshift exclusive position, that's what they expect from you, not for you to work nights once a week. This is the job. Enjoy your Sundays off, and work the ones you are scheduled. Since working in nursing I have missed holiday celebrations with my family, my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary, birthdays with friends...etc.
I think what you're not considering is whether or not attending church is the only way to serve the core Christian beliefs such as the compassionate, healing mission taught by Jesus Christ.
quiltynurse56, LPN, LVN
I am a Christian. I am even married to the pastor of my church. He says that I am serving God by serving those who are in need of my services. I attend worship on the Sundays I don't work. You may have to look at your work as serving others and drop the Sunday School. Or you could find someone to co-teach with you alternating every week for your schedule. You can still sing in the choir, just let the choir director know that you will be there every other week. If there is a Bible Study you can attend, go to that. Just because you won't be able to attend every Sunday does not eliminate church as being a big part of your life. I am glad that you want to be in worship every week, but as nurses, we need to find alternate ways to be a part of your worship family.
Reyn04, MSN, RN
I feel like this is something that should have been considered along the journey through nursing school. Bedside nursing is not always great for your schedule. But I digress.
Question 1: is your weekend requirement every other weekend, or 4 weekend days or 2 weekends? With your coworkers compliance could you satisfy weekend requirements by working every saturday? Or switch shifts with willing parties (this is touchy as eventually people may get tired of switching with you especially depending on you returning the favor)?
You may simply need to accept that right now, this is what you need to do & sacrifice the things you want to fulfill the commitment to your new job. You may want to ask about switching to a straight nights position if that would work better for you in the long run, but right now you accepted a position that requires a weekend commitment. If you dont want to or cant I assure you, other new grads will.
My suggestion is to say your prayers & offer up this sacrifice until you can change jobs. Perhaps a procedural area would be more accommodating? Stay as active in your church as you can until you can obtain a schedule better suited to your desire. But as stated, you committed to this job & your best bet, professionally is to see it through.
I live in the Bible belt so, a big majority of people here are church goers. If everyone here were to take Sundays off most healthcare facilities would barely be staffed. The 7th day Adventist Hospital near me still operates on Saturdays too. Most people that I've worked with who are religious seemed to understand that they'd be giving up a church service here and there when choosing a career in healthcare. A lot of churches don't frown upon a missed service from a nurse either because, it's a job that is "in service of others". I don't attend church anymore but, several of my coworkers are religious and have come up with different ways to make up for days they have to miss a service..
The ladies that work days at my job turn a service on the TV and have it playing in the background as they work. I've seen people listen to a service on the radio too. Some churches even broadcast their service online or have someone record it so, people can watch later.
I've worked with people who will: attend an early or late service at another church, ask their pastor for an early church bulletin/notes to read along Bible verses that went with the service on their break, attend the service at the hospital chapel or the service at the nursing home for the residents, I've known several people who tithe any differencial pay they make when working Sundays -just little things like that.
If that doesn't appeal to you maybe look into something like a clinic job where you'd never be required to work a Sunday?
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