Three 12s vs. Clinical Schedule

Specialties Ambulatory


I'm thinking about transitioning out of the hospital and into a position at a clinic. For those that have had both schedules (3 12 hour shifts vs. normal 8 or 9 to 5), which do you prefer? Perks and drawbacks of the clinic life vs. the hospital?

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

I taught for one semester, and the hours just about killed me. I was so grateful to go back to the ICU at the end of the semester and work my three 12s! I've never worked in a clinic, but I can't see EVER working anything but three 12s again. (Unless I could work 2 12s and still get benefits - I'd go for that in an instant!).

I've known many nurses who went into the clinic for "better hours" and almost universally, they weren't any happier with the hours. Bill, who went to dialysis clinic for the regular (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday) schedule was excited about having every weekend off - until he found out how difficult it was to switch a day when he needed to take his wife to the oncologist or his daughter to check out schools. Three day weekends were impossible to come by as the patients needed dialysis even on holidays. He wasn't able to stack his days to get time off without using vacation time.

My husband went to the Cath Lab and was thrilled about the hours - until the call time started adding up and he couldn't get time off during the week when he needed weeks of Physical Therapy. Some folks who have husbands with Monday-Friday schedules and no kids were able to make it work for them, but I much prefer the flexibility of my 3 12s. (I went traveling with friends, leaving my husband at home because he couldn't get the time off.

Specializes in Adult and pediatric emergency and critical care.

I far prefer 12s you get all of the befits that Ruby Vee mentioned as well as the ability to pick up extra shifts and still have a 2-3 day 'weekend.' I can't imagine working OT or PRN when your already on 5 days a week

I just transitioned from hospital life to clinic life. I'm definitely having a hard time with the Monday-Friday schedule!! I don't know how normal people work business hours, ha. But the lifestyle is totally worth it to me to not have to worry about holidays. There are benefits and drawbacks to both kinds of lifestyles and it's really just personal preference. One of the hardest things right now is figuring out when I'm going to fit in gym time because I have the hardest time motivating myself to go after a full day's work. But I'm hoping it gets easier. I do miss only working three days a week but again for me I think it'll be worth it. Hospital life burned me OUT and I am much happier after a day at the clinic.

Specializes in public health, women's health, reproductive health.

When I worked at a hospital, I couldn't imagine being there more than 3 days a week, mostly because I disliked my job. I went to an outpatient setting but still only worked three days a week. For the past year I've been working in a clinic and now have "regular" hours with no nights, weekends or holidays and I am never on call. i thought I would have a harder time adjusting but after a few weeks, I was fine with it because I really like my job. The weeks go by quickly and I love having my weekends off to be with my family. I would not want to work 5 days a week as a hospital floor nurse under any circumstances. I would not want to work at any job I disliked 5 days a week. It matters how you feel about the job, your co-workers, your boss and the population you work with. Some situations require more days off for the sake of sanity. I'm not speaking for anyone else. Some people love working 3 12 hours shifts even when they love their job. I'd personally like to work 4 10 hour shifts with no weekends, nights or holidays if I could set my own hours.

I went from 3 twelves on nights to 4 tens on days to 5 eights. I then switched back to tens. I hate them. I'm a zombie on my day off and it feels like I might as well be at work for 5 days. Plus no daylight in the winter made me depressed. I'm going back to eights as soon as I can. I might be there for 5 days but at least I have more than an hour or so in the evenings. We don't have twelves. If we did I might consider them even knowing one of my two days off is wasted.

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty.

I liked the M-F and sometimes 4 hours on Saturday schedule. As far as other advantages, mostly knowing you don't have the hassle of working holidays and weekends, is very important to some people-- more family time is a big one for a lot of people.

The other thing I found was that while a clinic can be just as crazy-busy as a hospital unit, it's somewhat more predictable, and the type of stress is different. You don't normally have patients who will crash on you even if you do get behind. You learn to cope with people complaining about how long they've been sitting in the waiting room.

I've only worked in an office/clinic setting because I wanted the M-F 8-5 hours. I need to be home with my kids and family and cherish my weekends, evenings, and holidays with them. Band concerts, baseball practice, chorus, soccer games, the excitement of Christmas morning, planning family swim parties at my parent's house on Saturdays--all those are what's important to me. Most other jobs are M-F 9-5 so it's no different to me than when I worked in a boring desk job previously, except I actually like what I do. We accrue PTO and can use it if we need a day off during the week or to leave early for an appointment or take a week's vacation. We also get paid holidays.

I am a fairly new RN, I am having a hard time finding a job, due to no experience. The one job I did get was 7 12hours and 7 days off. I guess that was Okay, but most of the time we worked 14 or 15 hours. I hardly ever had any time with my husband, so he wanted me to quit, and the job wasn't what I was looking to do. I want to work in a clinic, but then again no experience and here in my area clinics only hire LPNs. So does anyone have any suggestions on how I can get hired at a clinic?

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