8 rules for happy hour

Image: Somos Photography | Veer

At the end of a hellish shift, it can be fun to go out and have a few drinks with your favorite nursing friends. But drinking with your colleagues isn’t like drinking with your friends on the weekend. The same rules just don’t apply.

No matter how laid-back your hospital may be, your actions always reflect on your professional nursing persona. So what kind of behavior is appropriate? Check out our happy hour etiquette guide for smooth sailing!

Rule #1 –>

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15 Responses to 8 rules for happy hour

  1. The #1 rule should be: don’t fraternize with coworkers outside of work period.

    Having coffee with coworkers is ok, going out and drinking with them is not.

  2. Your name

    bologna!!! just dont get drunk and act like an idiot same basic social skills no matter who your with!!

  3. Keisha

    WHAT???? My nurse friends are my closest and dearest. They are like family!!!!! We recently went on a white water rafting trip and are planning a large camping trip for October That is the craziest thing I have ever heard ( OH…..and sometimes, even the physicians come….shame)

  4. After a long day at work.Happy hour is great,if you forget about the day or week you just had,Have fun be happy and stay safe,,,,,,

  5. Michael Monteron


  6. Jen H

    Agreed! Enjoy responsibly, bond & have fun! 😉

  7. Philomena

    im surprised that clothing wasnt mentioned. is it wise to go out with scrubs on?? remember the public is watching right?

  8. shirleyskeen@yahoo.com

    Getting together after work is great if you have any energy left after a busy shift. But it is a good thing. If you understand where your coworkers are coming from you will understand why they do what they do. Bonding is good. You spend a lot of your time with these people it is good to understand them. But I agree with all the other opinions here. Keep your self professional. Do not do or say anything you would not put on “Blast” as my teenage grand children say. Communication via hospital grapevine travels faster than greas lightning.

  9. takingthe5th

    As the wife of a nurse who is a recovering alcoholic, I wish that there were fewer of these social get-togethers that were less alcohol-centered. It’s not something he should be exposed to, and it’s not something he would readily admit to a co-worker — he feels enough stigma already. When planning the next get-together at the local watering hole, it might be taken into consideration …. the nurse or doctor next to you may be an alcoholic and won’t admit it to colleagues ..

  10. Julie

    I believe I have broken all of those rules.

  11. christina

    this is true–nurses are professional public servants. dont embarass the profession.

  12. TDK227

    I am not sure that I totally agree with some of these statements. I don’t pal around with the boss, but coworkers are different, depending on who they are. When you have worked with the same group of people for a long time, you know them well and you have solid trust between you, I think that friendship can extend well beyond work. I have friends from old nursing jobs 20 years ago that I still keep in contact with and they are like family to me. And believe me we did some major partying back in our day. I am glad there were no camera phones and camcorders back then!!! In my experience, this can actually foster team work and make work a lot more fun.

  13. alice

    I agree getting together with people from work on a regular basis is in bad taste, I get along well with all the people I work with, a couple of big get togethers once or twice a year always works well, I luv the folks I work with but I have to seperate the two, I work to enjoy good quality time with my family, and the sooner I get home the better, Ive never had that bad of a day where I thought I needed a drink when I left

  14. Susan

    In reference to recovering alcoholics, those who are able to drink socially should be able to go out as often as they like. And if they aren’t even aware that another nurse is in recovery, how could they possibly take that into consideration ?

  15. Mamiekay

    BIG difference between going out with your co-workers and going out with the friends you work with. And if you happen to have a happy hour with both present, all of these rules apply. This is a great article for someone young who’s just starting out. If someone who’s been in the biz awhile still needs this kind of advice, maybe they’re not mature enough to be in healthcare. As for taking into account whether someone may struggle with alcohol or other substances, that is not MY responsibility. It is the responsibility of the person in recovery to make sure they don’t go places or do things that make them stumble. If they choose not to share that information with co-workers, they cannot expect their co-workers to consider it. If a person in recovery doesn’t want to drink, he or she is probably more than welcome to make suggestions of places to go other than bars.