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How are nursing schedules in terms of flexibility?

i am a student in san jose job corps

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Raquel’s Answer

One of the great things about nursing is the huge variety of jobs available to you. This makes it so you can pretty much find a job to fit any schedule. Hospitals frequently have nurses do three 12 hour shifts a week as a full time nurse, and you can work either days or nights. If you work outside the hospital there are jobs that are 9-5, five days a week, or a mix of hours and days. Lots of jobs are willing to work with you to meet your schedule. There are usually requirements for working a certain amount of weekends and holidays, but in general there is a lot of flexibility on when you work. I've worked in home health recently while taking classes part time and have had no problem adjusting my work schedule with the change in classes each semester. You just need to find a job that meets your needs.
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Christina’s Answer

I agree with Raquel's answer. One of the wonderful aspects of nursing is that you can generally find a work schedule to meet your needs outside of work. I worked full time in the ICU and CCU. Then went back to school to get my masters/NP degree. While in school I worked per diem to support myself and work around my school schedule. An an NP, once I had children, I was able to work 3 days a week until they were in high school. I then increased my work to full time but worked 9 hour days.
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Candice’s Answer

Nursing schedules typically vary based upon the setting that you work in.

Hospitals/Nursing Homes/Correctional facilities:

Most of the nursing schedules in these types of facilities are usually pretty rigid. They do shift work. The nurse is assigned to a designated number of shifts per week or month on a set schedule. These schedules typically look like the following.

7 am to 3 pm, 3 pm to 11 pm, 11 pm to 7 am, or any 8 hour shift rotation.

7 am to 7 pm, 7 pm to 7 am, or any variety of 10 to 12 hour shifts.

Many people also enjoy working in this setting on a PRN schedule. This means that you are not a full time employee. You just work on an as needed basis. It also typically pays more because you are on call. You get to determine the shifts or assignments you want to be open for and the facility will reach out to you to fill in for absent employees or when extra coverage is needed in special situations.

COVID also heightened the opportunities available in travel nursing. Most travel nurses work in hospitals. They travel to work in temporary nursing positions where there are staffing shortages. Many nurses state that one of the perks of this type of nursing career is the per diem. This is an allowance they receive in addition to their pay to cover living expenses and other costs related to their trips. A lot of these openings can be found by registering with a nurse recruiting or staffing agency. Nurse staffing agencies may offer opportunities across various settings as their role is to find available qualified nurses to fill job roles.

Physician offices & Outpatient Clinics:

Typically work a 9 am to 5 pm schedule or 8 hour shift depending on the hours of their clinic. May allow for a more structured Monday through Friday schedule with limited to no weekend work.

Schools:

School Nurses are becoming less and less full time staff in modern times. They often work on a rotating schedule where they go to certain schools on specific days from designated times. For example;

Elementary School A on Mondays & Wednesdays from 9-12 or can be all day.

Middle School B on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 12-3.

Off on Fridays.

Many school nurses say that they enjoy these types of schedules as it gives them more personal time in their day or the ability to take on another job.

Home Health agencies:

Home health agencies seem to have the most scheduling flexibility for nurses as there are countless opportunities with independent companies. They pretty much provide qualified care and support around the clock. As with PRN work, you can define the hours that you want to work and they will find you a facility or individual client to care for in that time frame. There is also much crossover in this setting as home health agencies also often staff nursing facilities as they are the homes to many patients.
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John’s Answer

Wow, lots of great information here, so I won't repeat it. I'll add one thing though and that is there are even roles that are work from home roles. I have worked for a state CDC office as a nurse and in the insurance industry as a nurse and both of these roles were work from home. Lots of opportunities out there depending on what you like to do.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hi Lupe!

Let's chat about the flexibility in nursing schedules.

The scheduling in nursing can vary greatly, depending on the healthcare facility and the specific nursing role. Generally, there are a few common types of schedules you'll come across: traditional fixed schedules, rotating schedules, and flexible schedules.

Traditional Fixed Schedules: These are schedules where nurses work the same shifts every week. While this type of schedule provides predictability, it might not be the best fit if you need to juggle personal commitments or if your availability changes frequently.

Rotating Schedules: These schedules involve a mix of day, evening, and night shifts that change regularly. While it adds some variety to work hours, it can be a bit tricky to maintain a steady work-life balance due to the frequent shift changes.

Flexible Schedules: Some healthcare facilities offer more flexible scheduling options for their nurses. This could mean self-scheduling, part-time roles, or even the ability to swap shifts with your colleagues. This type of schedule can give nurses more control over their work hours, making it easier to manage personal responsibilities and achieve a better work-life balance.

There are several factors that can affect the flexibility of nursing schedules. These include the healthcare facility's policies, union agreements, staffing needs, patient acuity, and the individual nurse's preferences. Also, certain nursing specialties or roles might offer more flexibility than others. For instance, travel nursing positions often allow nurses to choose assignments and locations based on their availability and preferences.

If you're a student nurse at San Jose Job Corps or any other educational institution, it's crucial to consider how nursing schedules line up with your academic requirements. Some facilities might offer part-time or per diem positions that can fit around your class schedules. Also, don't forget to seek advice or mentorship from experienced nurses or faculty members. They can offer valuable insights into balancing your academic goals with gaining clinical experience.

In conclusion, nursing schedules can greatly vary in flexibility. This depends on factors like the type of schedule the healthcare facility offers and the individual nurse's preferences. By understanding the different types of schedules and considering your personal priorities, you can make informed decisions about your career path and work-life balance.

I used authoritative references like the American Nurses Association (ANA), Journal of Nursing Management, and Nurse.com to gather insights into nursing scheduling practices, industry standards, and considerations for student nurses.

Take care and God bless,
James.
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