One of the questions that many people have when they are considering entering the nursing field is whether they are going to be able to maintain a social life. When they are in school, they already see that it can be hard to keep the grades high while also being social. Do things change and become easier once you have your nursing license and you are working in the field?
It is all a matter of your work schedule, along with your ability to schedule your own time. One of the first things that you will have to consider is what type of shifts your hospital is able to offer. Do they have eight-hour shifts or are they working on a twelve-hour shift schedule? This could affect the number of days that you have off and the type of activities that you are able to do when it comes to your social life.
Creating and keeping a good schedule of your own is important too. Regardless of how many hours you are working, you are going to be able to have days off. Try to schedule your social activities on those days whenever possible. If you are able to work your errands into the workweek – waking up a bit early to get to the bank, shop, etc. – you will find that when you do have full days off, they are going to be a time for you to relax and do what you want to do.
Days and Nights
One of the things that you will have to consider when you are becoming a nurse is your schedule. Are you going to be able to work days or nights? While the night nurses are able to make more money, this often makes it more difficult to have a traditional social life. Night shift nurses wake up at the time most people are coming home from work, so it does mean that the chance for social interaction with friends is limited. Even on the off days, it can be difficult for them to change their sleep schedule.
Still, just because you do not have the traditional hours off does not mean that night nurses are going to have to suffer a lonely existence! Take advantage of having those days off when everyone else is at work. You could head to the gym, go hiking, see a movie on your own, and meet new people. Look at working the night shift as an exciting opportunity and enjoy that extra money!
Do Not Let Work Become the Only Thing in Your Life
The schedule of a nurse can be demanding, but that does not mean it has to ruin your social life. Instead, you have to be able to work with the schedule and find ways that you can maintain your life outside of the hospital. Too many nurses who enter the field put their all into the job. While this might seem admirable, it can lead to burnout rather quickly. You have to have a time and a place where you will be able to decompress. You need a social life!