How Many Hours Do Nurse Practitioners Work?

The number of hours nurse practitioners work weekly varies depending on numerous factors.

It includes where they work, the nurse practitioner’s specialization, employment agreements, and work status.

This article covers different schedules and work hours for nurse practitioners based on their profession and employer. 

Hospitals and Emergency Departments

Many nurse practitioners who operate at hospitals, emergency departments, and 24/7 healthcare facilities work 12-hour shifts.

However, a nurse practitioner’s work shift can vary between 8 and 24 hours, depending on the employer and department.

NPs may work 10, 12, or 24-hour shifts to ensure patients receive adequate medical care.

There are numerous reasons a nurse practitioner works long shifts.

It includes employee shortages, emergencies, call-outs, and hospital policies.

In this case, nurse practitioners can work longer shifts to maintain patient care standards.

Besides varying work shifts, nurse practitioners may also work evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays.

Unlike independent practices or academic settings, 24/7 healthcare facilities always require medical staff.

As a result, nurse practitioners work at all hours to accommodate patient needs.

Unfortunately, nurse practitioners rarely have a permanent schedule due to hospital work.

They may receive general work hours but need to accommodate patients and emergencies when they occur.

Independent Practices | Physician Offices

Nurse practitioners who operate independent practices or work at a physician’s office have more standard work hours.

In these settings, nurse practitioners work during the office’s business hours.

As a result, they may work 8 am – 5 pm Monday thru Friday or whatever hours the healthcare office operates.

Nurse practitioners may also receive more standard schedules at community health centers and clinics with set operating hours.

Schools | Academic Settings

Nurse practitioners in academic settings may receive the most traditional work schedules.

Various colleges and universities operate at specific hours.

As a result, nurse practitioners usually operate during school hours and receive nights and weekends off.

That said, they may occasionally work a weekend if the school is open and their services are needed.

School-based nurse practitioners may operate in elementary, middle, junior high, and high school settings.

They may also work for colleges or universities requiring a licensed nurse practitioner.

Administrative Nurse Practitioners

Administrative nurse practitioners may operate in academic or healthcare settings.

These professionals are responsible for overseeing nursing staff and providing guidance.

As a result, they play a more managerial role instead of working directly with patients.

Administrative nurse practitioners can work various hours in 24/7-based healthcare facilities.

However, they’re more likely to receive fixed schedules in academic settings.

The administrative nurse practitioner will receive similar hours if the school operates Monday through Friday during the day.

Telehealth Nurse Practitioners

Telehealth nurse practitioners have reasonably flexible schedules because they operate from home.

Working from home eliminates commuting and provides more freedom for healthcare workers.

Telehealth nurse practitioners utilize communication technology to assist patients and help them with various health services.

Depending on the company, a nurse practitioner may receive several schedule options and operate part-time.

For instance, they may apply for positions that operate Monday through Thursday between 10 am and 4 pm.

It enables them to work around their other responsibilities while earning an income.

Nevertheless, these healthcare specialists’ schedule options vary depending on the company and their needs.

Travel Nurse Practitioners

Traveling nurse practitioners work on temporary assignments throughout the country providing aid to understaffed locations.

Work assignments can last from a few weeks to a few months based on the contract.

As a result, their work schedule and hours vary depending on their job, the employer, and contract agreements.

One significant factor of working travel jobs is that it allows for a lot of downtime in between assignments.

Highly skilled professionals can choose the assignments they want to accept.

It enables them to work for facilities offering the best pay, location, and incentives.

They can schedule time off when the assignment is complete.

It allows travel nurse practitioners to have a fantastic work-life balance as they can take weeks or months off between jobs.

Per Diem Nurse Practitioner

Per diem nurses fill vacant positions at hospitals and healthcare facilities requiring supplemental staff.

That said, NPs usually stay within their state and this profession doesn’t offer the same schedule security as travel jobs.

Per diem nurses don’t have secured temporary assignments like travel nurses, which last a few weeks to a few months.

As a result, work shifts vary more sporadically on a daily or weekly basis.

Nevertheless, per diem nursing offers numerous advantages for healthcare professionals who want flexible schedules.

It enables them to operate at different healthcare facilities throughout the state and pick more desirable work shifts.

Per diem nurse practitioners can also avoid office politics, work multiple jobs and better avoid nurse burnout.

Because per diem nurses fill vacant positions at understaffed hospitals and healthcare facilities the hours they work vary.

Nurse practitioners can choose to work part-time or full-time and accept morning, noon, or night shifts if they prefer.

They can also work holidays and weekends for extra money!

Ultimately, a per diem nurse practitioner’s hours and schedule depends on their preferences and work demand.

Those who operate in areas with low demand may struggle more to acquire full-time hours or preferable schedules.

Conversely, those in high-demand locations may have lots of opportunities to pick desirable shifts and earn great wages!

Nurse Practitioner Overview

A nurse practitioner provides mental and physical medical care to patients with specific healthcare needs.

It includes family care, mental health, neonatal care, geriatrics, and women’s health, among other healthcare disciplines.

Nurse practitioners diagnose patients’ conditions and specify treatments to alleviate their medical ailments.

They also prescribe medication, perform physical and mental therapy, advise on dietary changes, and educate patients about their health.

Nurse practitioners work with patients in various medical environments.

It includes hospitals, urgent care centers, nursing homes, community healthcare centers, schools, and academic settings.

As a result, their work hours vary greatly depending on their specialization and the needs of their employer.

The healthcare facility or hospital they work with determines their work schedule based on the facility’s requirements.

It includes the staffing needs of that hospital or facility, any overtime the nurse practitioner works, and the patient needs.

In addition, any agreements made between them and their employer affect how many hours a nurse practitioner works.