I recently participated in an online discussion that compared the benefits and disadvantages of the 12-hour shift to the 8-hour shift. Nurses were asked to give their opinions on their preferences for each shift and state their reasons for those preferences. Many nurses responded from various practices and geographical areas, but as I read the answers, a common thread emerged that brought an unexpected slant to the discussion. Many nurses spoke of preferring a 12-hour shift because it allowed them time to take on another job, either part time or per diem. This was also mentioned as a disadvantage of an 8-hour shift.

I wondered to myself, would we be having this discussion if we were teachers or municipal workers? Why is it so common for nurses to work a full-time job and a per diem job? Is it out of opportunity or necessity? Are nursing salaries on the whole insufficient? And is this common in other professions? I must admit that I do know a majority of nurses who work a full-time 12-hour shift job and also work per diem elsewhere. I don't know other professionals who work per diem as frequently. I welcome discussion and insight from other nurses nationwide on this topic.

Comments

Posted by Erica (not verified) (not verified) 4 years ago

Working 12 hr nights gives me more flexibility over my day hours and more days off with my kids. It also allows me to grab an OT shift almost one per pay period. If the OT possibility went away I would have to go per diem elsewhere. Most of my non-nursing friends think my life is exhausting and my schedule difficult. In this economy, most of us do this because we either have an under or unemployed significant other or can not survive on our salary alone while maintaining an average middle class lifestyle.

Add new comment

About text formats

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Posted by Michele (not v… (not verified) 4 years ago

I work 8-hr days at an outpatient oncology center simply because I cannot endure 12-hr shifts any longer. The extra time with family is a plus but if the days off is for another job how much recuperation time does the RN have in between jobs. I understand about making ends meet financially which is were most of us reside. I feel the main reason is to have sufficient resources while trying to maintain the household and lifestyle efficiently.

Add new comment

About text formats

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Add new comment

About text formats

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.