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Typical Nursing Hours

Nurses work in every area of health care possible. They work in hospitals in most departments outside of administration. They also work in private physician’s offices, urgent care clinics, health departments and care centers like nursing homes. The nurses carry out many different duties and work a variety of hours depending on where they are working. Nurses who work in private doctors' offices or offices with set hours of business work more regular stable hours than those that work in a hospital.

Nurses work a minimum of forty hours if they are full time. Some nurses do work part-time shifts and that means they will work 32 hours or less each week. Some nurses work on a temporary or an on-call contract basis. The number of hours for these nurses varies from week to week depending on the demand in the facility they are working for. Shifts can range for 12 hours for four days or 8 hours shifts for five days if they are full time and an even more alternating schedule is possible for part time nurses.

Nurses work a wide range of shifts over their career. Nurses who work for the private office or a health department or clinic with set hours can pretty much count on what their schedule will be for the entire time they work there. Office hours usually are from 8 or 9 a.m. to around 5 p.m. Nurses in these offices also usually have evenings, weekends and holidays off. Because of this, these positions are very popular and are hard to find as most of the nurses who get these positions don’t leave it until they retire, move or have some kind of major life change.

Nurses that work in hospitals tend to have a more variable schedule than those in offices. These nurses have schedules that alternate on a monthly or quarterly basis. These shifts can be 12 hours shifts for four days a week or lesser hours, depending on what the policy of that hospital is. These nurses have a greater chance of working evenings and weekends as well as holidays. Hospital nurses usually also have to work some days on an on-call basis which means that if they are called by their supervisor they have to report that work on that day instead of being off work on that day. Overtime is another possibility for hospital nurses, which is usually not an option for nurses in private offices.