Done with the Graveyard Shift? Consider a Nursing Role with Normal Hours

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Craving more stability? Tired of working when everyone else you know is asleep in bed? Whether your schedule changes each week or the hours you work are far from the standard 9-to-5, a nursing job with regular hours may be just the thing you need.

Having a variable schedule — or one that includes hours that don’t mesh well with the other people in your life — can feel chaotic and tiring.

Being a nurse doesn’t have to include inconvenient hours. A number of nursing roles involve standard eight-hour daytime working hours and include variety in facility type and focus.

Standard hours — in a hospital

You can still work in a hospital environment and have a weekday, daytime schedule. Some hospitals and acute care centers have nursing schedules that allow for permanent daytime shifts, though you’ll need to scrutinize job postings and conduct some research to figure out which ones in your area offer these hours.

Here are some shift-related items to review in postings:

  • Does the posting say first shift or specify hours such as 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.?
  • Will the shifts vary slightly such as 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. or 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.?
  • Are weekends and holidays off?
  • What is the potential for on-call, or after-hours, work?

Smaller hospitals may also have operating rooms that are not open outside of standard hours, so they don’t require a full nursing staff at those times.

Operating rooms that are part of special clinics, for example plastic surgery clinics, may be open only weekdays during regular hours.

Other facilities and practice environments

Other care environments like assisted living and nursing homes have various nursing roles on staff, but often maintain skeleton crews or on-call nurses during nonstandard hours.

Family practice or specialty doctors’ offices are another choice. Because they’re typically open weekdays during regular hours, that’s when the nursing staff works, too.

Step outside of direct care

Another option for regular working hours is taking a nursing role in an environment that isn’t primarily focused on direct care. Public health departments and affiliated services are one alternative.

Public health nurses provide direct services like immunizations and other care, but they also spend time on things like community education activities. Because public health departments are usually open during standard hours, that’s also when your work hours will be.

Research facilities offer nursing jobs that don’t involve a night shift. Many universities and private companies that invest in health care-related research have nurses on staff, and positions are likely to require standard working hours.

Finally, nursing schools employ nurse educators. And while teaching is often  extremely rewarding, keep in mind that although you may not technically be on the job during nights or weekends, course preparation and grading often takes place outside the classroom.

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