How many hours per week do nurses work?

One of my relatives tried saying that overtime is mandatory at facilities and that nurses can work 12 hours/day, seven days/week if they're full-time. (So 80+ hours/week on a regular basis.)

I was thinking about getting into entry-level nursing (either getting a CNA or LPN license) and wanted to make sure I know what I'm getting into. I was hoping to work 40-60 hours. ...Is the extra overtime mandatory? Or is it voluntary? 

Update:

ibu guru: There are LOTS of job postings for CNAs and LPNs in my area. Some places are offering $16-$24/hour even for aides in short staffed places. (The pay is much better than just working in fast food or retail.) 

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  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Generally, an RN who works at a hospital will work 7 12-hour shifts over a two week period.  That works out to about 40 hours a week.  In most cases, a nurse can choose to take extra shifts or work overtime. Hospitals always work on 12-hour shifts rather than 8, so that's going to be standard whether you are an RN, CNA, or LPN.

    Nursing schedules are not the same each week at a hospital.  Full-time staff are required to work both day and night shifts as well as weekend and holiday shifts.  One week someone could, in theory work 3 night shifts in a row, have a day off, and then work 3 days shifts in a row.  I'm sure there are hospitals where nurses are being told to work more hours or shifts than normal.  This can be due to COVID or a nursing shortage in that area or other factors.  I know several nurses and none of them are being forced to work OT, though most are being offered extra shifts.

    Nurses who work in doctors' offices generally work 40 hours a week, normal business hours. 

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Varies

    I worked many different scenarios before I retired

    For many years worked the standard 8 hours a day 5 days a week for 40hrs a week, then I worked 12hour shifts 3 days a week for 36hrs a week

    Then my last job was on call, actual work time averaged 27 hours a week, 

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Ibu guru is right about CNA jobs, however, I feel nursing has became the same. I’m not trying to get your hopes and dreams down. Even though there’s an open position, where I work we get about 42 applicants for ONE job. At hospitals there’s about 80 applicants per one job, they interview about 20 for that one job. I would really look into other fields. Also, most places don’t have much overtime anymore. There is plenty of staff, it’s hard enough getting your regular hours in. I’m sorry to give you news you didn’t want to hear

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  • edward
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    ...hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!  Funniest thing i’ve heard in a while...hahahahahahahahahahahaha!  Manditory overtime!  Hahaha!  Hardly ever.  Basically if they NEED a nurse for OT which is nearly $70/hr (anyone would be crazy to turn that down) and the nurses union states that we can not work MORE than 16 hours per day (12 hours is completely normal for a nurse, that’s not OT), we get our names dropped into a bucket and one person gets picked.  Boom...mandated OT.  Anything more than 75 hours per pay period is OT.  What kind of family would want to lie to you like that?

  • 2 months ago

    Right now, many facilities are in a big crunch & asking for a lot of overtime. 12-hour shifts are common in a lot of hospitals & other medical facilities, but RNs & BSNs typically work 3, maybe 4, shifts per week. CNA is not "entry-level nursing" and LPN is becoming obsolete in many areas. IF you are serious about a career in nursing, you need to get into an RN program. With an RN, you might be able to progress with an "RN-to-BSN" program if you want to move up in the future. CNA is really dead-end, best for people with limited academic abilities, and willing to settle for a steady paycheck with limited training.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    You should be able to get plenty of OT but no guarantees. Doubt its mandatory.

  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    i would just apply and then you'll find out

  • 2 months ago

    Hospital nurses have hours that are needs-based - the hospital's needs, not yours - even during non-pandemic times. My friend only signed up for Part-time a couple of years ago and kept being pushed for more hours, to the point she had to quit, as she had three children and a husband at home. 

    Perhaps working at a doctors office or clinic would suit you better?

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