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Which Nursing Jobs Don't Require Shift Work?

Question:
I am studying for my RN right now through an ADN program. I don’t want to work shifts. What are my options for finding nursing jobs that don’t require working nights and weekends? Are these types of nursing jobs hard to get? Sincerely, Bethany

Nursing

Answer:
Dear Bethany,

Thanks for your question. Many nursing students question their ability or willingness to work shift work, after all, it’s not something that most people are used to doing. While some nursing jobs demand shifts, others are more in line with “regular” work hours. It all depends on finding the right one for you.

Hospital Nursing Jobs

Traditionally, nurses who work in hospitals either find themselves working full-time off shifts (evenings or nights) or with a schedule that rotates them between the different shifts. However, where there nurses who work permanent off shifts, there are likely nurses who work only days.

Finding a hospital that does permanent shifts may take some detective work, but in many places is possible. Just remember that with most nursing jobs in a hospital or long-term care facility, nurses do have to work on weekends sometimes.

If you do find a place with day shift nurses, it may not be easy to get in right away on days. Often, the hospitals allow nurses who already work in the hospital to claim the “prime” shifts before offering them to newly hired nurses.

Operating Rooms

In some hospitals, particularly small ones, operating rooms only function during daytime hours for elective surgeries. Emergency surgeries are either done elsewhere or done on an on-call basis for the nurses. Some operating rooms in clinics, such as plastic surgery clinics, only operate from Monday to Friday, during business hours.

Administration

Nurses who have their bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) or higher may be interested in working in management or administrative positions. These are generally during the day and during the week. Administrative positions also may be available in clinics, universities, and businesses.

Clinic Nursing Jobs

Nurses who work in walk-in clinics or doctors’ offices generally work steady daytime hours. The exception would be if the clinic or office is open after hours. But even in that case, it could be that some nurses are hired to work the off hours and others for the more regular ones.

Home Health Care Jobs

Much of home health care is done during the day, such as changing dressings, ensuring medications are stocked properly, patient teaching, and so on. However, some home health care cases require visits at different times of the day, including late in the evening, particularly if you are working in hospice care.

Nurses working in home health also may have to take call, which means being available at all times during set periods of time, usually for 24 to 48 hours at a time.

Occupational Nursing Jobs
Many large businesses hire occupational nurses to work with their employees.

School Nurses
Want to work school hours? School nursing may be the job for you.

Research Nursing Jobs

Pharmaceuticals and other medical companies often hire nurses to be part of their research team. Research nursing jobs can range from interviewing and enrolling patients into various studies, doing blood draws and other testing, or visiting different facilities that are participating in the trials to ensure they are following the policies and procedures.

Teaching

There is a significant shortage of nursing educators in the United States. Teaching would have you at work during regular daytime hours, but the one thing to keep in mind is many teachers end up working at all hours at home, due to marking, developing teaching plans, and so on.

As you can see Bethany, there is a huge variety of work you can do as a nurse, many of them during the day. Good luck!

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