How Many Hours do Nurses Work?

A common question asked to academic counselors by prospective nursing students is: “So how’s the life of a nurse? What kind of hours to they work?”

It depends. It really depends on your location, academic qualifications, experience, country of practice, working environment… Really, I could make a long list but then the article would be way too long.

So our team at MIMS Career has sifted through the working hours of a lot of different types of nurses, so you can have an idea of what kind of career choices you’d have to make to go towards that kind of life. We’ve categorized it in five parts: a little, a bit, normal, a bit more, and a lot.

A little (3-5 hours a day)

Part-time nurse practitioners

These nurses mostly work doing house calls, or are doing contract jobs with non-medical institutions like schools or companies. Their employers do not require their presence most of the time, so as little as 3-5 hours per work session is pretty common. Part-time nurse practitioners usually have another job other than their nursing one.

Find out how to become a part-time nurse practitioner in our in-depth nursing career advancement guide HERE.

A bit (5-8 hours a day)

Locum nurses

Locum nurses work part time shifts in clinics or hospitals or other medical-related institutions. They are not on the payroll of the institution they work with; as they are only meant to supplement the institution’s own workforce. On average a locum nurse’s shift is about 5-8 hours.

It is more common to see nurses doing locum jobs to supplant their monthly income, but nurses who exclusively do locum jobs exist, albeit rare.

Find out part-time locum jobs for nurses on our career portal HERE.

Normal (8-10 hours a day)

Nurse instructors, academicians, dialysis nurses

These nurses work office hours. This is as normal as it gets. Dialysis centers and nursing schools all have regular, fixed schedules that don’t demand anything more than the usual office workday.

Same goes for those who work in nursing schools as teachers, trainers, or professors. You can find out what it takes to be an academician in the nursing world in our article about lifelong learning HERE.

These kinds of nurses don’t normally work weekends, and their schedules are mostly the same and predictable.

A bit more (10-14 hours a day)

Those involved in direct patient care, like emergency room nurses

Most of the time, when nurses at the ER say they work a 12-hour shift from 7am to 7pm, they almost always never get to get out on time. There’s always something to do, someone else to cover, or some loose ends to tie up.

This is made even worse by working in hospitals with a shortage of staff. Nurses would be brought in to do things that are not in their job scope, because they can do those tasks. But people who are not nurses do not do nursing tasks because they cannot do those tasks. How many times have you been to an ER, and see a nurse doing clerical work at the front desk because the hospital doesn’t have a secretary or clerk?

A lot (14-24 hours a day)

Paediatric intensive care, intensive care, surgical, labor and delivery.

It is very common to see nurses doing double shifts in these wards. Their shifts might be 12 hours, but are sometimes to do two of those shifts back-to-back to reduce shift handovers, staffing overlap, and reduce costs.

Moreover, the type of work that this category of nurses do are a bit on the lengthier side. Surgeries can go up to 24 hours, including perioperative care. Intensive care can be very demanding as patients hover around critical states.

There is a variety of workloads for nurses. Each type of work suits different people who prioritize different things. With MIMS Career you have the opportunity of applying with ease to the jobs that you want to go into. Signup and apply with our easy, 1-click application process. Browse for jobs in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Indonesia. Save jobs for later if you’re still on the fence. Also, you can opt for job alerts if nothing fancies you.

Signup and apply today! It’s fast, secure, and free.



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 Think about working in Australia. The salary of nurses are one of the highest in the world. They have a large, interesting country with endless things to explore. The quality of life is great; it is second best globally. People live outside a lot more than they do here, are laidback, and friendly. 

 Working overseas, while initially scary, can be one of the best decisions you ever make. Being outside your comfort zone forces you to grow as you are tested by challenges that not many people will get the opportunity to go through. 

 Depending on where you go, it can be very different from back home. This change in environment builds confidence as a result of changes in your perspective. Not only will it look good on your resume for future career opportunities, a new country is a land of endless discovery that you can make during your downtime after work. 

 Want to work as a nurse in Australia? Read on to find out. 

  About Australia  
 Register with NMBA  
 Apply for skills assessment with AMNAC  
 Get on AHPRA online public register  
 Pass the AMNAC skills assessment  
 Living in Australia  

 About Australia 

 Because it was geographically isolated as an island for millions of years, many species can only be found on the Australian sub-continent. Australia is a rapidly advancing country: it is the 13th-largest economy, and is ninth on the list of income-per-capita. It ranks highly in terms of quality of life, healthcare, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and human rights. An influx in migration from all over the globe to Australia has resulted in the country becoming a rich, diverse, and friendly melting pot of cultures and ideas. 

 Register with NMBA 

 The process of migrating to Australia for work as a nurse involves a few regulating bodies. In a nutshell, in order to practice nursing, you’d have to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). This board handles your qualifications, and deems your education to be relevant, meeting Australian standards. Then you have to apply with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council, or ANMAC. This body takes into account your work experience, and handles your migration to Australia. It is possible to be accepted by the NMBA, but rejected by the ANMAC. 

 The suggested pathway is to register with the NMBA first. For registration, they will assess you on three things: 

 
	 Criminal history
	 
		 English language skills (a recent result of tests like IELTS or TOEFL is needed) 
		 Recency of practice. You need to clear this part if you’ve already been practicing as a registered nurse here in Malaysia. Recent grads without prior work experience need not do this step. 
	 
	 
 

 Apply for skills assessment with AMNAC 

 Once this is done, and approved by NMBA, you then apply to AMNAC for a skills assessment. This is the application that will approve your migration to Australia. 

 They have five criteria to submit: 

 
	 Proof of identity 
	 English language proficiency (similar to NMBA criterion) 
	 Educational equivalence (whether or not the nursing degree or training is the same standard as AMNAC’s standards) 
	 Professional Practice 
	 Fitness to practice. 
 

 Get on AHPRA online public register 

 If you’ve graduated from Malaysia, you would have to complete some further training. This is because you do not meet Criteria 3- Education equivalence. Hence you would not be suitable for a skills assessment from AMNAC, which prevents your migration. 

 To get over this hurdle, you need to be on AHPRA’s online public register, which determines that you are fit to practice, and that your education and training are both deemed usable for their healthcare system. 

 This training can be in the form of a bridging program or something similar. Contact the Dept of Immigration and Border Protection for a visa to go to Australia to complete your training. 

 Pass the AMNAC skills assessment 

 Then there’s only left the final step! AMNAC will approve your application to go through their skills assessment. Once that’s done, they will issue a Letter of Determination. If you are suitable for migration, congrats! Head back over to Department of Immigration and Border Protection website to start the visa process. 

 Living in Australia 

 Australia has seven of the top 100 universities in the world so great place for education. Also, each year Australian Government provides approx $200 million dollars in scholarships for local and international students. It’s a good opportunity to raise your children there. 

 Australia is a safe, multicultural, friendly and harmonious society. It has a comparatively very low crime rate and strict gun control laws providing a safe place to live. 

 Medical insurance, healthcare facilities and doctor’s prescription medications are cheaper than many developed countries. So you can have a peace of mind whenever misfortunes happen. 

 Halal food is relatively easy to get in the larger cities. Lately the vegetarian movement has been very well-liked with the local populace. Regardless of your dietary needs, Australia is open enough to accommodate everyone. 

 Conclusion 

 Migration to another country can be scary. There are no certainties. No guarantees. You’d be leaving familiar environment behind, and embracing the change that will happen. Be proud of yourself for taking this next big step in your career. 

 As the world gets smaller and more connected, employers are more in need of healthcare practitioners who are open-minded, culturally-exposed, and competent to meet the needs of 21st century challenges. 

 You stand to gain a new skillsets from experienced specialists who work in challenging environments. It will solidify your confidence - and compassion. That compassion will come from the realization that despite differing borders and flags, we are still one big family. The realization that we’re not so different after all, and that access to health care is a basic human right. 

 Start applying for nursing jobs overseas with MIMS Careers. Just signup, input your details and resume, and you will be able to apply for those job posts with a single click. Not only that, you can save jobs you are interested in for later viewing. 

 Can’t find what you’re looking for? Set up job alerts so we can notify you of new employers that meet your search criteria.

How to Work as A Nurse in Australia

Think about working in Australia. The salary of nurses are one of the highest in the world. They have a large, interesting country with endless things to explore. The quality of life is great; it is second best globally. People live...

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 As productivity writer  Benjamin Hardy  puts it, survival mode is: “ your life being filled to the brim with nonessential and trivial things. You don’t have time to make anything meaningful. ” 

 Do you often feel like this? Crazy shift hours, demanding patients, children to take care and worry about at home… It’s no wonder that  nurses are falling sick because of their stress levels . Your busy life just gnaws at the corners of your mind. It’s difficult to sleep, hard to find time to eat, and care about yourself. As you fend off your exhaustion, you realize at the end of your day the worst thing about your predicament is that you have to face the same thing tomorrow. 

 And the next day. 

 And the next one. 

  So you go through life on autopilot.  

 There is a way to break this cycle, and return your sense of self. You will feel happier, healthier, and achieve your personal and professional goals with these simple daily practices. 

 Re-orient your life 

   

  Take charge of your life . Most importantly, be conscious of your decision to take charge of your life. Decide on a better way of looking at how you live, and decide to act on it. Intention is very important; actions only come after that. 

  A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.  

 You have only one life; it would be a shame to live it miserably, because you won’t be getting any of your youth back. 

 Get Good Sleep 

   

 So many things can be attributed to the irregularity of sleep or the lack of it. Your concentration slips out frequently. Your memory is fuzzled. Your body feels tired, and has no energy. These are all detrimental to the patients under your care. Most importantly, it poses a real danger to your health. 

 Those who sleep 7-9 hours a day are proven to be healthier, fitter, and less likely to be obese or suffer from any other health issues. 

  “But wait…” you say. “I can’t do that! I work shifts.”  

 Don’t worry. Remember that you can space out your sleeps into naps if a long period of rest is not available to you. 

 There are so many benefits to getting enough sleep. Some of them are: 

 
	 Increased concentration 
	 Better cognitive abilities 
	 Less risk of cardiovascular diseases 
	 Reduced chances of depression 
 

 And so on. 

 Prayer, or meditation 

   

 Gratitude upon waking up, or when facing a difficult time, is one of the  best  habits you can form. This mindset of abundance primes you to cope better with challenging situations or periods of your life. Because you are always grateful for the things that you currently have, it negates the negative impact of focusing on the things you don’t have, or would like to be better. 

 Prayer and meditation helps you re-orient yourself to set your most important priorities. It also serves as a good “brain detox”. 

 Your life might be busy and hectic. By devoting some time to honing your spiritual center, you will learn to make sense and derive meaning in a chaotic world. 

 If you don’t know how to meditate, here’s the  5-minute meditation trick every nurse needs to know . 

 Exercise in moderation 

   

 At MIMS Career we all know most of you nurses are very tired. However, exercise is something that still should not be neglected. 

 Take walks. Walking can also be a form of meditation. Just walk a few minutes, being mindful of your surroundings and focusing on your surroundings. Try and get into the habit of exercising, too. It has many benefits which I’m sure you’re aware of. If you want a healthy mind, it has to start with care of the body. 

 No gym membership? Try some no-equipment home exercises. 

 Eat Healthy 

   

 Eat small, frequent meals as opposed to large meals in one sitting. 

 Those working shifts have a tendency to grab whatever food is available, and that is unhealthy. Try to prepare healthy snacks that you can bring to workplace, like cut fruits. 

 Pack food to work. Cooking packed lunches are a lot healthier because you are aware of what you put into your body. Experiment with simple 1-dish meals. They are light enough to bring in one container, and can simply be reheated in a microwave. 

 If going home to eat, experiment with freezing your prepared meals, or slow-marinading meat that you can throw in the oven right when you get back home. YouTube channels like Tasty can give you many ideas. 

 Consume Great Content 

   

 Read, even if you can only do it for ten minutes a day. If done every day, you’ll eventually finish many books in a year. 

 Podcasts and audiobooks are good to listen to on your commute.  Here’s a helpful article also written by me about getting started with podcasts.  

 The world’s most successful people all read at least one book a week. You don’t have to do that, but that goes to show how important the value of reading good content is. 

 By “good”, I don’t mean Facebook posts or tweets. I mean real, thought-provoking forms of prose that teach you something new. 

 Over time, just by doing 10 minutes a day, you’ll have more knowledge on different topics. It will make you a better writer, speaker, and you’ll develop a personality that future employers would absolutely love whenever you go for interviews. You will view the world in a different lens. 

  Here’s a great reading list for you to get started if you like.  

 Write down and review your goals every day 

   

 What are your goals? Write them down. Both short and long term. 

 Then do something that gets you closer to your long term goals every day. 

 Getting out of the rut that is your daily grind can be difficult, but very rewarding when done right. The location and working environment you’re in can make or break your learning curve towards attaining your career goals. 

 Which is why you should give MIMS Career a shot. Browse through our extensive directory of nursing jobs across Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, and more countries coming soon. Upload your resume and be notified of jobs you might be interested in. 

 Sign up for free, and discover the change of pace in life that you need to get out of autopilot today.

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  Photo cr: Unsplash  

 Mental Health 

 Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of mental illness. It is the “ psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment” . From the perspective of positive psychology or holism, mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life, and create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve  psychological resilience . 

 According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health includes “ subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualization of one’s intellectual and emotional potential, among others.”  Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how mental health is defined. 

 Mental health nurses play and important part in helping patients lead a positive life. It is not uncommon for physical disorders to arise from mental issues. It is a field that is growing in awareness. It is estimated that  40% of Malaysians will suffer from mental health issues in their lifetime . 

 Specialization tasks 

 Maintaining good mental health is crucial to living a long and healthy life. Mental health nurses are required to show a considerable amount of empathy towards their patients in assisting them to make a full recovery. Research has shown that there is stigma attached to mental illness. Therefore, it is extremely important that mental health nurses develop excellent observational skills in the treatment of the patient. 

 Activity therapies 

 Activity therapies, also called recreation therapy and occupational therapy, promote healing through active engagement. Making crafts can be a part of occupational therapy. It is very common for nurses to take patients on walks as part of this type of therapy. 

 Psychotherapy 

 Psychotherapy is the general term for scientific based treatment of mental health issues based on modern medicine. It includes a number of schools, such as  gestalt therapy ,  psychoanalysis ,  cognitive behavioral therapy  and  dialectical behavior therapy . 

 Legal requirements 

 Mental health nurses assist in the legal requirements for the patient. Requirements encompass the setting of the patient or a group of patients. 

 Progress monitoring 

 Mental health nurses may have roles that include visiting patients in their home to monitor their progress and carry out risk assessments. While carrying out this task, nurses assess the risks involved to the patients’ safety, health, and welfare. 

 Pathway 

 In order to specialize as a mental health nurse, you must be a registered nurse, practicing for a minimum of three years. A Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing is an advantage. You must take up a psychiatry-based training course with practical hands-on experience. For those courses, you may be able to get accreditation if you have a degree in psychology, or social work. 

 Required skills 

 You will need to display: 

 
	 
	 Exceptional observational skills. You will be required to assess patients and look out for signs of tension or anxiety, which sometimes are not that obvious. 
	 
	 
	 Physical fitness, especially when working in a hospital. Increased stamina and strength is an added bonus. 
	 
	 
	 Emotionally and spiritually resilient to work in a challenging environment. 
	 
 

 Job prospects 

 While a lot of work for mental health nurses is done in the hospital, the majority is community-based in a wide variety of settings. Some of them include community mental health centers, nursing homes for the elderly, rehab units, and private clinics. 

 Working conditions 

 Salaries for mental health nurses will depend on the level of education that they possess. Those with a BSN or MSN will earn more. The type of institution and experience that you have will also factor in your earnings. 

 It is important to have a calm demeanor and able to handle stress well as you will be working with many difficult patients with psychotic episodes. It can be rather jarring to those who are not used to it. However, when approaching these situations without judgement, many mental health nurses manage to overcome these issues and help the patients with their treatment. 

 Career opportunities 

 Search for high-paying mental health nursing jobs on  MIMS Career . Browse, save, and apply for nursing jobs, all in one-click. Take the opportunity for higher pay and better work locations. Our pages are all mobile-responsive, allowing you to take that leap for a better job whenever, wherever you are. All our job postings are heavily screened to  prevent scams and mistrustful behavior . 

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