Young Nurse becoming Old

Nurses General Nursing


This is just something I feel I need to get off of my chest, and there is no better place to do it than here.

I'm 21 years old (as of Aug. 27th). I do drink and like to have fun. However, I started my job in October and have not been myself since. They worked me Halloween night, Thanksgiving evening, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. I was originally scheduled to work New Years Eve (tonight), but I went to my boss and said "Hey, there are 3 nurses scheduled, none marked as supervisor.. I want it off. I worked X-mas Eve and X-mas Day, I deserve this. I am 21 and want to do something for once in a long time). She agreed.

I was sure I would have New Years Day off, as I couldn't see how they could work me 6 consecutive holidays in a row... HA! I was wrong. I have to work tomorrow (just got our January schedules 3 days ago) therefor, my plans of going out are null and void. Sure, I could go out and drink like the rest of my friends, but I feel as a nurse thats not acceptable. Some may do but I just cant. I'm so over it ALLREADY! This shouldn't effect me the way it does but people think that because I'm not married and don't have any kids that I should have to work ALL THE TIME and HAVE NO LIFE.

Well, thanks to work.. I don't have a life. The few friends that I DO have are leaving right now to go out for New Years Eve. I... have to stay behind. I'm so emotional right now. I feel like my life is passing me by. I work my butt off at work to do what is right and have gotten multiple compliments of how good I do and how I do much more than many seasoned nurses, and this is the thanks I get? I get taken advantage of when it comes to scheduling.

All of the nurses with seniority get their holiday requests first...leaving me out to dry. I LOVE nursing.. I love it when im doing it.. but then I go home at the end of the day or on my days off and think wow... I have nothing to do because I'm so busy and work so much that I have alienated myself, and my schedule is unconventional. UGH. I would work somewhere else, but this is pretty much the only option in the small town I live in. Traveling an hour to get somewhere else is almost just as bad. I feel stuck.

Thank you all for listening.

Specializes in Med-Surg, Tele, DOU.

I trade days so others can go see their families. That said it doesn't matter whether you are married or not. If your friends are making time for you around your work schedule, they are your family. IMHO, you are saddened because, you miss spending time with "your family" too.

You made a good decision by not going out drinking before work the next day. That can be a hard decision when you want to be with friends/family.

I think you said this was one of the few places you can work where you live. My question is what is keeping you there? What is really holding you back from moving to another city to live and finding employment where you can be more appreciated? I understand your dilemma if you have small children or sick parents.

Where I work, we keep track of who worked what major holidays the year before. This way, everyone works Christmas every other year. Everyone works New Years Day every other year and so on.

I don't think it is very professional to give out a schedule 3 days before it is needed. Our Christmas and New Year schedules are prepared 30-45 days in advance: i.e. I knew my New Year schedule by Thanksgiving.

If you choose to stay with the company where you are employed, then hang in there. One day you will be the senior nurse. But, if you are questioning . . . then take the time to think things through. I don't believe anyone should just get up and "look for greener pastures". There are too many messed up septic tanks under the grass.

I do believe that you should weigh all the pros and cons of your current situation though.

Specializes in Trauma acute surgery, surgical ICU, PACU.

We're unionized.

Our collective agreement states that the manager must schedule you off on half of the statutory holidays. It's also stated that you are not required to work both christmas and new years. It's the practice where I work to take turns (I think that's in the contract too) on working christmas and new years, but many people trade with others to get what they want.

Where I work, most people have to work shifts, nights, weekends, but it is generally fair across the board. None of this "wait until you are a senior nurse before life is livable" mentality....

Holidays are a touchy subject. I wish there was a totally fair way to deal w/ them, but someone's always unhappy. I do think all of those holidays in a row was a too much for the OP. I agree that it's a 24/7 job, but for one person to work all holidays and another very few or none is not fair unless there is a excess of staff. If everyone has a fair share of holidays and then it is overstaffed, the most senior staff should have off. A job I had years ago let one of the nurses who had been there for 35+ years off for Christmas. We had enough staff for all of the Christmas hours to be covered. One of the nurses who had a five year old child had a fit. She felt Christmas was more important for her than this older woman. Never mind, the rest of us had kids too(we felt it was fine for the older nurse to have off) and this older lady had already worked Christmas about 20 times. For some people, fair is only fair when it benefits them. That is why you need some pretty clear rules and then they need to be followed.

Specializes in Trauma, Teaching.

Our union contract specifies when seniority comes into play, and when not.

Holidays, if you worked it last year, you're off this year unless you request otherwise. We put up a list for Thanksgiving, Christmas and NY, you put up your preference for 1st, 2nd and 3rd. I almost always work NYE because it doesn't matter to me. We usually get our first choice, but not always.

Seniority counts for requesting vacation time: a calendar is put up, you enter what you want with dry erase; its up until March. If too many people with earlier hire dates want the same time, you know you should rethink and request a different time.

Try approaching your NM with suggestions like these to make things fairer for you. This nonsense of threatening to quit if they don't get exactly what they want, how many does she think will really quit? Ask if you can help make the scedules or implement self scheduling, so that they come out earlier than 3 days ahead. Ours are mandated out 2 weeks before they start. Don't most people have certain days they prefer? Why on earth should the schedule be so difficult?

You sound like a very level headed person, someone I'd like to work with.

Specializes in Med Surg.

My concern for you is that you're cheating yourself. You're young, you should be out responsibly having a good time.

Here's what I've can have a great time with your friends without drinking and with getting in early. My husband is in a rock band who gigs every other weekend, and I go to those gigs whether I'm off the next day or not, because hearing him sing for a couple of hours while nursing one drink sure as heck beats sitting at home and wishing I was there. My husband and my friends know I'm out of there early when I have to work the next day. I'm more than twice your age, and a grandma to boot, and I pull it off; you can too, and it will help you be a very entertaing nurse when you show up at work with stories to tell about all the drunk people making fools of themselves the night before.:lol2:

Seriously though. Work with management on that holiday schedule, make sure you get your time off fairly, and keep hanging with your friends. It's worth an hour or two of your sleep once in a while.

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