Family adjustment to nursing schedule

  1. Hi - I am a new grad nurse. Just got a job at a hospital a little more than 30 minutes from home. It's a great job and I am learning a lot but I never expected how TIRED I would be or how much I would miss my family! I have two small children (preschool and elementary) and on days I work, I do not see them. When I am home, they are all over me - so I know they miss me. My husband is great with getting ready for school and dinner/bed on the days I work (he works too). And I try to make sure things are done ahead of time (food, school needs, etc) so not everything falls on him.

    I am still on orientation and taking extra (required) classes along with working my preceptor's schedule, so I know it will get better when all I need to do is work 3-12s but I would love some advice! Does everyone adjust to the schedule eventually?? Will it get better (please say yes!) and if so, how long was your experience with adjusting to working a FT schedule?? When I was in school, I was home most nights and then I had a few months break between graduating and this job, so they were REALLY used to me always being home!!

    Thanks for any advice!
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    About sandytoes, BSN, RN

    Joined: May '14; Posts: 65; Likes: 107
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience


  3. by   MrNurse(x2)
    The twelve hours are tough, very hard on life and your body. The trade off is 4 days off to be with your family. Any new change is going to take adjustment. Give it time, soon, you will find 12 hours to be normal and the occasional 8 hours a walk in the park. The kids may be another story, no matter what society says, kids want their mom home. My wife is also a nurse and my kids balk every time she works, dads, on the other hand, are "supposed" to work and, though sad, are expected to work. We have never spoken these expectations to them, they just react this way, as do other coworkers kids we have spoken to. Soon, your family will fall into this new normal. Enjoy your new career and remember, the first year will make you think you learned nothing in school and you aren't really comfortable until about 3 years out. That's normal and there is nothing wrong with you.
  4. by   amoLucia
    I believe what PP said is very true. In the meantime, remember, you need to spend a little effort on yourself, remember to hydrate and vitamin yourself. Squeezing a little 'ME" time, even if you're only listening to your favorite-est tape in the car on your way home, counts and can help you decompress.

    Maybe those little tricks that you can play with the kiddos, like a special daily stickee on the 'fridge before you leave can soften the separation for them.

    To be truly honest, not everyone adjusts easily; some may not ever. You do need to give it some time.

    I do like what someone here at AN once commented that "no one ever died of dusty floors (or clothes in the hamper or dishes in the sink)". You don't have to super catch-up MOM when you're home.

    I do admire & respect you Moms (and Dads) who work and/or go to school.
  5. by   sandytoes
    Thank you for the words of wisdom!! I am hoping we adjust. I have been off a little more this week and that is helping. I was doing 4 and 5 days a week for a while and I was feeling crazy!!! And YES I feel like i learned NOTHING in nursing school!! Holy learning curve!! I have orientation until February and am looking forward to making my own schedule. Also, if push comes to shove, I can ask to be stepped down off FT. We have a position between PT and FT (it's basically 5 shifts/pay period vs 6 for FT) and while I won't ask until I am established more (definitely not while in orientation), I am not afraid to knock off a day if need be for the family! There are others looking to go FT, so the swap won't hurt my employer just my wallet!!

    Thanks again for the advice! I really appreciate being to chat with other parents out there who know what this feels like....