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whats the best time for cna?


is it better to work 12 hour shifts or 8 hour shifts?

also, if I work 12 hour shifts one weekend, do I work every weekend. or every other weekend?

I want to be able to afford a 650/month apartment and some personal essentials.

thanks (:

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

I prefer 12-hour shifts because I like having four days off per week. However, some people have a preference for the 8-hour shifts.

Whether or not you'll work weekends is totally at the discretion of your future employer. Different facilities handle weekend staffing coverage differently.


Specializes in hospice.

I like my 12s because I'm working full time but getting it done in only three days a week.

As far as I know, most employers that use 12 hour shifts use a rotating weekend schedule, meaning you work every other.

verene, MSN

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

Different places staff differently and have different pay-scales.I've done long shifts (12-16 hours) in another job in a different field and was always wiped by the end of them... I don't think I could have handled doing three back-to-back.

I currently work 3 8hour shifts a week right now, which I like because I'm in school. However my current pay/hours are not enough for me to live on alone, I'm am fortunate that my husband has a full-time job to help make ends meet.

Missingyou, CNA

Specializes in Long term care. Has 20 years experience.

It really all depends on you and how you feel. I prefer working 8 hour shifts because I work in a LTC facility and it is non stop and most of the time I don't get breaks other than my lunch.

Most places will have you work every other weekend and every other holiday...but that really depends on the facility. I once worked for one that you worked 3 weekends a month and once you were there for 2 yrs you went to every other wkend, then 5+yrs in you worked one weekend a month. Weekends were more $.

You could work full time at a LTC facility then work 2+hours a week doing home care for extra $.

Telling you what type of scheduling is "better" (12's or 8's) is like telling you that pizza is better than chicken nuggets....how would we know what you'd like best? Some like working longer hours for fewer days per week. Some would rather chew off their own arms than work more than 8 hours at a shot. Only you know what you might like better....and you might not come to that conclusion until you compare them.

Whether you work 8 hour shifts, 12 hour shifts, is irrelevant when weekend assignments are made: you work what you work, and if it's your weekend on, that's that. If you work all weekends, or no weekends, or half/half, that's up to each facility's scheduling office and policy. And, of course, if you're willing to work there.

Lastly, we cannot possibly know what you should work to afford an apartment, etc. Cost of living in NYC is a tad higher than in Oshkosh, Wisconsin ;) Know the COL in your area, the prevailing wages, available job opportunities, and make your decisions from there.

Good luck.

I used to work 5-6 10 hour shifts per week in a window factory, so I'd prefer to work my 3 12's in a row.