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.



Other Articles



 
	  See if the offer is too good to be true  
	  There is a fee to be paid to "process" your employment  
	  You get the job right away  
	  Unprofessional job interviews  
 

 Job scams 

 In 2013, a South African registered nurse was approached by a man outside the hospital she worked in. The 25-year old man was a recruitment agent for the  KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Health . He offered her a job at another institution, for better pay and work hours. 

 The nurse saw this as a great opportunity. She accepted it, and he produced a contract and offered her the job.  Then he requested USD220 in cash for the job.  

 Thankfully, the nurse grew suspicious, and realized she was being scammed. She immediately alerted hospital staff who arrested the man. 

   

 Grey's Hospital, where the incident happened. 

 That could have ended a lot worse. Luckily in that nurse's case, she was able to spot the scam job offer. It is hoped that this post can help you to spot these harmful acts and avoid costing you your precious time, money, and dignity. Scammers know that finding a job can be tough, and they trick people by advertising where real employers do. 

 Scams are endlessly creative! This list might not encompass all of them, but it will help you in detecting these harmful job scams. 

 
 1. See If The Offer Is Too Good To Be True 

 If it seems like you’ve landed yourself the best offer in the world,  DON’T . The hiring managers will say something to you like: 

 
 You can earn as much as you want, there is no upper limit on your salary. You decide what you earn. You can earn USD5,000 in one week by working at home! 
 

 Run away as fast as you can. These scams like to prey on those desperate for a new job. They take advantage of your desperation by having you excited of their offer. Once they’ve gotten you on their hook, those “employers” can start to demand money, information, and time, just to get your application moving. 

  Watch out for:  

 
	 Really high pay with low amount of working hours 
	 Ability to work anywhere, anytime 
	 Really shady phrases, like “ Drive the sports car you’ve ever wanted after only a few months’ work! ” or " Earn USD3000 by only working FOUR HOURS a week! " 
	 The person contacting you is the President or CEO or other executive level staff. Most of the time, the highest-ranking person contacting you for a job offer is some type of manager or human resources employee. 
 

 2. There is a fee to be paid to "process" your employment 

   

 If the hiring manager contacts you again and informs you that you have to pay [insert amount here] to complete your application, forget it. 

 You might see overseas job offers requiring you to pay a few hundred dollars to "process" your application. They'll claim it's to secure your employment. To sweeten the deal, some of them claim that you'll get back the money within days after you get in the company/institution. 

  Here are the most common ways job scams use to cheat your money, like:  

 
	 Buying their software 
	 Paying a fee to complete your application 
	 Sign up for some insurance program that deducts money from your account every month 
 

 Job scammers make all kinds of promises about your chances of employment, and an astounding amount of them require you to pay them for their services to employ you. It's important to note that the promise of a job is  not  the same thing as a job. If you have to pay for that promise, it's most definitely a scam. 

 3. You get the job right away 

 You get the job, without much interviewing, or even applying through anything. The "offer" gets sent to your inbox. They often mention that they got your email from Jobstreet, CareerBuilder, or LinkedIn. 

  Most of the time, these job offers are sent with emails that are similar to emails of legitimate employers. Be careful!  

 
 Imagine if a David Chen from  Ramsay Sime Darby  emailed you about a sweet job offer. If he really worked at RSD, his email would be something like david.c@simedarby.com. Watch out for david.c.simedarby@gmail.com, david.c@gmail.com, david.chen.HR.simedarby@yahoo.com, etc. 

 When in doubt, call up the company and ask for that employee! 
 

  A real company would want to talk to a candidate before hiring him or her.  

 4. Unprofessional job interviews 

   

 Look out for interviews online, such as over  Facebook Messenger . Worse still, are interviews using a software that the scammer asks you to install on you computer. You will risk having your computer infected with harmful malware that can  record what you type  ,  activate your webcam without notifying you , and  hold your personal information as ransom . 

 Look out for interviewers with bad grammar or spelling. If it doesn't seem like what a real professional company would say, don't trust it. 

 
 With some common sense, and a bit of suspicion, you can easily spot scam job offers. The rule of thumb is that if it looks too good to be true, sounds too good to be true, and seems to good to be true, then it's definitely not true. Also look out for shady characters and language. 

 As mentioned above, there is no limit to the creativity of these scam artists and their job offers. The tips mentioned above might cover  ALL  the scam job methods out there, but at least you'll be better prepared, and more aware that these things can happen. 

 As a healthcare-focused job portal site,  MIMS Career  takes the legitimacy of any employer and job posting  very seriously . We screen employers thoroughly, contacting them at various levels, to determine authenticity of said employers. Our  privacy policy  also dictates that we  never  share your personal information to unrelated third parties, nor do we sell them. 

 The next time you're in search of a job, apply through  MIMS Career . Sign up, fill in your details, and apply for job vacancies from top healthcare institutions in  Malaysia ,  Singapore ,  Indonesia , and the  Philippines  with one click. 

 Browse through our extensive database of job postings, updated daily. Our pages are mobile-responsive, so you can save jobs you're interested in on your desktop, and continue reading about it and apply later on your phone. 

 Can't find what you're looking for? Set a job alert, and we'll notify you once a job with your preferences is made available. Sign up now with  MIMS Career . It's fast, convenient, and secure. We do the hard work of verifying scam jobs so you won't have to. 
   

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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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 Why do we, as nursing professionals, have to put in effort to continuously learn? 

 The rate of progress in technology is growing at an exponential rate. The more things we discover, the faster we do it. What we learnt in nursing school 10 years ago might already be obsolete next year. As nurses, we are at risk of endangering our patients as our skills are steadily becoming more outdated. 

 Lifelong learning is a term that is freely being thrown around these past two decades. Lifelong learning means that education does not end at the academic level upon graduation; it means new skills, knowledge, and practices are always there to be learnt to improve oneself. 

 New Methods of Nursing 

 Take CPR, for example. 

 A vital procedure, many lives are saved with it. You would think that for something used so much in hospitals, it would be a science that’s very well established. 

 Unfortunately, no. Researchers and new observations change the way CPR is done. A decade ago, CPR was considered futile after a certain amount of time. Now, you are encouraged to  not give up  those chest compressions until medical help arrives. 

 Even the steps for CPR ten years ago are in different order. It used to be A-B-C; clear Airway, apply rescue breaths, then begin compressions.  Now compressions come first and foremost . The reason is because rescue breaths lower chest cavity air pressure, slowing circulation (which is exactly what we do not want in cardiac arrest). 

 The new methods are more effective than the older ones. And it took only ten years for the old methods to become obsolete. 

 Not knowing the newer, more effective method could cost someone his/her life. 

 Renewing Your Nursing License 

 In Malaysia, you have to renew your license every year. 

 When you renew your license, they will check your CPD points:  Continuous Professional Development  points. These are points that you gain when you go for any nursing related courses. 

 For example, attend a Midwifery course and gain 5 CPD points. Attend a Wound Management course and get 3. 

 These points accumulate throughout the year, and when you want to renew your license, you need about 20-30 points. Otherwise, you will not be able to renew, thus leaving you without any form of registration. Meaning you can’t practice nursing! 

 Improving care towards patients 

 Nurses with a higher level of education are able to think more critically of their patients. They are able to aid in diagnosis, notice patterns in communication, and other physical cues that would help in determining the best course of treatment. 

 A nurse with a post-basic in cardiology is much more useful to a cardiologist compared to a general staff nurse. They can work together, exchange information, and execute procedures that the latter would not normally have the ability to do. 

 21st Century patients 

 Nowadays, patients are have more access to information than ever before. They are more learned, and have different set of expectations. They query a lot; so nurses have to be armed with the right set of information to cater to these patients. It goes a long way in establishing their trust towards you. 

 A good nurse-patient relationship is very important to achieve successful recovery. 

 Great nurses are always on the lookout for new, exciting, and better opportunities to grow their career. Find out your next employment with MIMS Career, a fast, secure, and convenient portal to connect you to top-class healthcare employers in MY, SG, ID, and PH.

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