5 Reasons Why Shift Flexibility Matters for Nurses Today

2 min read
May 22, 2024 9:18:07 AM

Like in most workplace settings, flexibility is no longer a mere convenience it has become a fundamental aspect of the work environment. For nurses, that is no different. While nurses continue to work long uninterrupted hours to ensure continuity of patient care, there are a number of flexibilities now being made available to nurses, from 8-hour instead of 12-hour shifts, to multiple alternatives to explore per diem nursing options. This flexibility supports professional development, financial stability, and a healthy work-life balance, all of which benefit both the nurses themselves and the quality of patient care they provide.

Here are five reasons why workplace flexibility has become crucial for nurses today:

1) Work/Life Balance is No Longer Up for Negotiation

Nursing can be an emotionally and physically consuming career choice. To combat that, work-life balance needs to become more than a buzzword. Nurses today should expect a certain level of balance in order to ensure both satisfaction and efficacy. In the video below, Dr. Ellen Kuhnert, our Chief Nursing Officer, emphasizes how flexible shifts are essential for nurses to manage their health and well-being effectively. This balance is crucial, as it not only leads to better job satisfaction but also ensures high-quality patient care. Flexible schedules allow nurses to juggle personal commitments and professional responsibilities without risking burnout.


2) Family Needs & Commitments Change Over a Nurse’s Life

Family commitments can significantly influence a nurse’s availability and ability to work. This is particularly true for nurses who parent young children need to balance their professional roles with demands of early parenting where childcare can be limited. Lighthouse nurse Lauren Raitz shares how flexible shift options have been crucial for her. After being laid off, she was able to seamlessly continue her nursing career, all while being present for her children’s important moments. Flexible shifts provide essential support, enabling nurses to adapt to life’s changes without sacrificing their professional or personal commitments.

3) Fund Continuing Education

The nursing field is continuously evolving, and many nurses seek further education or certification to advance their careers. Today, nurses can explore everything from a Nurse Practitioner degree to specialty-specific certifications. Per diem shifts, like the ones at Litehouse Health, can support this aspiration by providing flexible work options

that allow nurses to pursue educational opportunities without sacrificing their jobs. This flexibility ensures that nurses can continue to grow professionally while maintaining a steady presence in the field.

4) Financial Freedom

The financial needs and goals of nurses can vary greatly—some may need additional income for big life events, such as a wedding or buying a house, while others might be planning to strategically save for specific hobbies and travel pursuits. Flexible shift work allows nurses to adapt their schedules to meet these financial goals. This ability to pick up extra shifts as needed can make a substantial difference in a nurse's quality of life and financial security.

5) Reentry in a Post-Covid World

Post-Covid burnout is still a real and pressing issue within the nursing community. Many nurses who stepped back during the height of the pandemic find it hard to return to a full-time schedule. Flexibility in shift scheduling can offer a more manageable reintegration into the workforce, helping nurses to ease back into their roles at their own pace, which is crucial for mental and emotional well-being.

The need for flexibility in nursing is a multifaceted issue that touches on personal well-being, professional growth, financial stability, and the overarching quality of healthcare. As the industry moves forward, nurses will continue to seek out healthcare systems and other options that prioritize flexible scheduling options to retain skilled nurses and ensure high standards of patient care.