Nursing Work Schedules
One of the most attractive non-monetary bonuses of a nursing job is flexibility.
If you’d like to have, for example, a life outside your job, then a nursing career path may make that easier than the typical 9-5:00 occupation.
Because nurses are needed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you can work different shifts to accommodate outside activities.
For example, a single mom might like to take a weekends only job so that a relative is available to watch the kids yet she can be home every day after school to make sure homework gets done and the kids have an evening meal together.
A night owl might prefer to work the 7:00p.m. – 7:00a.m. shift, working with his natural circadian rhythms. An aspiring stand up comic might work in a daytime methadone clinic to have her evenings and weekends free for gigs. Need to work part-time? There’s a nursing job for you. Full-time? Yes. Overtime? Yes, that too.
In addition to flexibility in scheduling another amazing perk of a degree in nursing is the flexibility in the type of work that you can do. The day to day responsibilities of a nurse in one specialty field are often completely different than the day to day responsibilities of a nurse in another specialty field. This means that a nurse who might get burned out or become bored with work in one specialty can, with some planning, switch to another specialty. It also means that you can pick a nursing environment that works best with your temperament and personality. One nurse might enjoy the high-pressured environment of the emergency department, another might prefer to serve in a teaching role in a primary care office.
And if the time comes that a clinical role doesn’t seem to be meeting a nurse’s needs, there are jobs for nurses that don’t require patient contact, for example teaching nursing students or working as a pharmaceutical sales representative.
Nursing offers not only flexibility but also portability. If you live in the U.S. and have to move to another state to accommodate aging parents, a spouse’s job, or a just because you can’t find a spot for good bass fishing where you are, your nursing license can follow you, with just a small to moderate amount of paperwork.