Work life balance
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 can be challenging, 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, organisations 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, depending on each individual and their circumstances, 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. Even if a role is advertised as full time, there's no reason as to why you can't contact the hiring manager for a chat, and 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.
It may be possible for you to make changes to your current role with a Flexible working application, or to ask for reasonable adjustments or redeployment. You can speak to the RCN for more advice on this, and to discuss whether you need support from a local RCN rep or officer to help you negotiate with your employer.
If you need to find roles that are better suited to your health requirements, our page Managing your career around ill health and disability has a list of roles which can sometimes be less physically demanding, or tend to operate around core hours.
The Peer Support Service also has lots of resources and information to help you.