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Work life balance

When considering your career path and choosing a job that's right for you, it can often help to start by examining your values and priorities. It may be no surprise to know that research shows we are happier and more fulfilled when working within a job that aligns with our values and what is important to us.

Priorities may be directly linked to the workplace or the scope of a role, e.g. being able to work closely with patients, being part of a big team, having more autonomy, or having opportunities to progress and develop. However you may identify that other factors within your life may influence your career choices, such as being able to work part time hours, being able to work core hours, being able to spend more time with family or friends, or being able to work flexibly. 

Finding a role with core hours

It may be that your primary focus is to find a job with more regular hours. This could be for health reasons, lifestyle reasons or family reasons. Finding a 9-5 job within nursing is a tricky, since the majority of patient services require round the clock care, with healthcare professionals expected to work flexibly to cover need and demand.

It may be possible for you to review your contracted hours and working pattern by submitting a Flexible working application. 

It's true that working patterns vary greatly depending on the type of role, clinical area, client group and/or business needs, but there are some nursing roles that are predominately worked within core hours:

  • Clinical lead
  • Commissioning roles
  • Dialysis nurse
  • Functional assessor / Disability analyst
  • Health visitor
  • Immunisation Nurse
  • Occupational Health Nurse
  • Outpatient service roles
  • Practice Nurse
  • Research Nurse
  • School Nurse
  • Teaching and educative roles
  • Training roles
  • Travel Nurse
  • Treatment room Nurse

In addition to exploring the above list (which aims to provide you with a snapshot of some examples) you may also want to look more generally, but aim your job searching at businesses and services that only operate within core hours.

Finding a role with flexibility

If your priority is to have greater flexibility, or control over the hours you work, you may wish to explore flexible working roles such as:

  • Bank work
  • Agency work
  • Self employed work 

You may want to read more about bank and agency work, as well as self employed work. Being a flexible worker has its pros and cons, so make sure you weigh up your options and do your research before leaving your contracted or permanent role.

Finding a role with part time hours

Many members want to work part time for health reasons, family reasons or lifestyle reasons. Part time posts are advertised but can sometimes prove quite competitive due to being in high demand.

Some vacancies may be open to discussion when it comes to working hours, so always check the job advert. Otherwise, even if a role is advertised as full time, there's no reason why you can't contact the hiring manager to discuss the possibility of being considered on part time hours prior to application.

If you're already in employment, you may want to ask to drop your hours to work part time, either on a temporary basis or permanent basis. 

You may want to read more about part time working and how to apply for flexible working

Finding a role with less physical demand

If you need to find roles that are better suited to your health requirements, please see our page, Managing your career around ill health and disability.