I thought when I started I would like day shift too. But I had NO skills at the beginning, beyond class. So I was hopelessly slow. Seniority does play a big part and really until you get comfortable doing things, night shift is a blessing.
We keep the hall lights dimmed and it's quiet. Some folks blast their TV's all night but if they are asleep, I will turn them off. Some of the other night aides will go into a room and throw on the bright over bed lights. I don't like to do that several times over a night, it totally disrupts their sleep.
I crack the bathroom door and find that gives me plenty of light to do changes. If I need more, I will turn on the over bed light but rarely find I need to do that. I also use my cell phone for a flashlight, if I need to read an O2 rate or something like that. I think it's pretty rude to blast on the lights and my happy residents tell me as much.
It's also not very mentally stimulating at night. Change, clean BM, repeat. WHich is a challenge for me sometimes because I have some stressful things going on in my life and tend to ruminate on them too much at night. But you will get to know your coworkers and have time to chat.
We make time for a potluck at least once a week and everyone brings something yummy. My nurse is awesome, a been around awhile, good teacher type. Not too long ago, everyone turned up with dessert for the potluck and when I came over to visit (had been on the skilled unit that night), they all were flying on sugar overload and racing around
I like my nights way more than I thought. And for residents, many don't sleep soundly and will wake and talk with you. I hear some of the best stories at night or when doing get ups. They like to tell stories and the day staff don't always listen or have time to.