I just started working Monday through Friday as the 11-7 supervisor in my 120 bed LTC/sub-acute rehab facility. I know this isn't true for hospitals, but *most* of our residents sleep through the night. The most resident/nurse interaction is during the smaller 12MN and 6a med passes. There's work to be done, like chart checks and notes, and things always do happen, like a change in mental status or a fall, but there is a good amount of "down-time". Everyone keeps telling me "Oh you'll be thankful for this position when you're back in school," (I'm going back to finish my MSN in the spring.) but I can't help feeling a little guilty. Obviously I'm finding things for myself to do, like re-working the supervisor's book, thinking about policy tweaks, frequent rounding, and helping the nursing assistants PRN, but what do you do when you're not passing meds, doing treatments or charting? I started off as a new grad, working 7p-7a in psych and we had 2-3 nurses on the floor at night, because we always got so many admissions overnight and that definitely kept us busy. Also, psych patients never sleep at night, lol.
I work with people who said they worked nights for 20+ years, but it's usually followed up by, "Yeah it was really great because I was able to make time for my kid's soccer games, dance recitals, etc," but I don't have kids yet.
I do love having my days free and spending time with DH (he's an "off shift" worker too). I like having time to go to my yoga classes during the day and sleeping in the morning and afternoon has never been a problem for me. I would never go back to working 12's (7p-7a), but I really do like working 11-7.
Why do you work night shift? Is it because you like the hours, you like the work, you like spending your "off" time with your kids, or is it something else?