Day shift or night shift - Which do you prefer? Why? - page 4

by brian Admin | 34,719 Views | 66 Comments

There are pros and cons to choosing a preferred nursing shift. But what is right? I mean - if you haven't tried it how will you know. What is your current working shift? Do you like it? What are the pros and cons of... Read More


  1. 0
    I work nights! Absolutely love it! As others have said the people I worth with on nights are great, way more laid back. The day I work off I am like a zombie but I don't feel like I have less time off. The boyfriend is a paramedic who is still in school full time and works 24's. He definitely understands my crazy sleep schedule so that's nice. Just depends on what fits for you and your lifestyle. Might be harder with kids but for now I love it, more money too!!
  2. 3
    I haven't graduated yet, but one of the things I'm looking forward to is (hopefully) a 7p-7a shift. I am a natural extreme night owl. To this day if I don't discipline myself I'll be up until 5am and sleep until 3pm. I am most alert after 4-5pm at night. Early hours for nursing clinicals are absolutely killing me. Years ago as a paramedic, paramedic student, and 9-1-1 operator, nights were my favorite shift EVER. I never fought lines at the grocery store, had my pick of doctor/dentist appointments, and slept my "normal" hours for the most part.

    Now, I agree with those who say it's hard to do with kids, but mine will be heading off to college soon and as soon as she starts driving in the Spring, she'll be off doing her own thing most of the time and isn't dependent on me. I'm single, and it may cut into my dating as I have no objections to working nights weekends, but hopefully wherever I can get on will rotate at least some weekends.
  3. 0
    I liked the evening or second shift the best because I got more done during the day, and the co-workers seemed to be more congenial.
  4. 5
    Outside of the military, obviously, and the time I wasted in management, my entire career has been spent on evenings and nights. Even now that I am retired, it's as if I am still working the 3- 11 shift, as I usually don't get to bed untill around 4 or 5. I do get up a little earlier though, around 0830 or 0900.

    I always preferred the later shifts for the same reasons most of you have already pointed out, but one other comes to mind. More traumas were likely to come in during those hours. Not to wish ill will on others, but I loved a good trauma, what can I say. It wasn't like I caused them but since they happened, I was happy to provide my expertise to try to repair the damage. Another thing that was pointed out by a number of Nurses was the camaraderie of the nursing staff on the later shifts. I've never understood why that can never seem to achieve that on the day shift. When I was the NM of the ER try as I might I could not get the staff to cooperate and come together as a team. Even though several of them were friends outside of the Hospital, it seemed like when they came to work, it was every man, or woman, for themselves. On the other shifts, it was the exact opposite, everyone pitched in and helped each other, if someone saw something somewhere that needed to be picked up that was for one of the other nurses they grabbed it and brought it back for them and made sure to let them know. It was just a spirit of cooperation all the way around, it was great. It might make a great study sometime for someone's Doctorate. BUT, anyway, that easy spirit of cooperation makes for a calmer shift, even with traumas and tragedy all around you, so just think what it does for floor that is much calmer to begin with.
    GradyGramNot, joanna73, tejon, and 2 others like this.
  5. 0
    When I first started my carreer as a nurse, I worked in a hospital where our shift is rotation...3 day shift-3 evening shift and 3 night shift and 1 day off before you start the rotation again. My sleeping time was really out of whack! My Circadian rythm is off and I did it for 7 years. I was younger then and enjoyed acytivities after work hours; bedise that , I was flexible.
    Then I migrated to another country and worked pm shift for a couple of years. That was the best shift for me because I am not a morning person and I liked sleeping in the morning and waking up fresh in the afternoon. When I get home after 11pm, I am able to watch TV til the wee hours of the morning and not worry about waking up early in the morning. Then I tried morning shift . Getting up early in the morning is not exactly my cup of tea esp if I had to wake up extra early during winter time to clean my car because of the snow that accumulated and nearly buried my car. Not good at all!! 11p-7a shift at a psychiatric hospital was bliss! Most of the patients at the Geropsyche ward are asleep by then because of the meds given during the day to prevent sundowning...Chart checking is more accurate. I loved doing it even though we have to do rounds every 15 minutes.

    7a-7p shift in the hospital is really busy, most admissions and discharges always happen during the day; procedures, consults, Dr's rounds andof course, bosses are always around. The bulk of medication are given during the day. The advantage of am shift is that , there is a lot of help and you are able to communicate your needs to the administration. 7p-7a shift is more sedate and calmer, provided the "Sundowners" are not acting up. It takes only 1 very confused patient to act out or just one patient to have a "code" to make the night shift really crazy and draining. Add to that , is the fight against sleepiness.
  6. 0
    Quote from FMF Corpsman
    Outside of the military, obviously, and the time I wasted in management, my entire career has been spent on evenings and nights. Even now that I am retired, it's as if I am still working the 3- 11 shift, as I usually don't get to bed untill around 4 or 5. I do get up a little earlier though, around 0830 or 0900.

    I always preferred the later shifts for the same reasons most of you have already pointed out, but one other comes to mind. More traumas were likely to come in during those hours. Not to wish ill will on others, but I loved a good trauma, what can I say. It wasn't like I caused them but since they happened, I was happy to provide my expertise to try to repair the damage. Another thing that was pointed out by a number of Nurses was the camaraderie of the nursing staff on the later shifts. I've never understood why that can never seem to achieve that on the day shift. When I was the NM of the ER try as I might I could not get the staff to cooperate and come together as a team. Even though several of them were friends outside of the Hospital, it seemed like when they came to work, it was every man, or woman, for themselves. On the other shifts, it was the exact opposite, everyone pitched in and helped each other, if someone saw something somewhere that needed to be picked up that was for one of the other nurses they grabbed it and brought it back for them and made sure to let them know. It was just a spirit of cooperation all the way around, it was great. It might make a great study sometime for someone's Doctorate. BUT, anyway, that easy spirit of cooperation makes for a calmer shift, even with traumas and tragedy all around you, so just think what it does for floor that is much calmer to begin with.

    Morning shift can be very busy. The culture of the unit as a whole also play a big factor in creating the "Team spirit". It takes only 1-2 person in the group to show inconsideration for others and "un-team attitude" to rub off on everybody in the whole group. I worked12 hour days and there are times that I get so busy with taking care of my patients that I don't even have time to void and much less, time to chat with other nurses during my shift.You have to be your "own man" because you cannot expect other staff to do your job for you and besides the other staff are probably having a time coping with their load as well. The only time I could claim my own during am shift is my lunch break and "pee" break.
  7. 1
    I like nights for the quiet atmosphere & good team communication, more free day time to deal personal stuff~~~
  8. 2
    I love working my 7p-7a shifts. I worked those for almost 10 years. Decided to go to days with a different type of job - hate it, hate it, hate it. I stuck it out for a year but now I am going to searching for a job where I can work my nights again. I agree with macgirl, if you love waking up early in the morning - go for days; if you are a night owl - go for nights. Pay is usually better at night too. See here it is almost 11pm and I have to be up at 5:30am - still wide awake. So ready for my night shifts - give me a 4:30pm wake up call any day!!
    GradyGramNot and joanna73 like this.
  9. 1
    I work cath lab...so I work all shifts.I prefer my STEMIs at 2am. The drive home is peaceful, the hospital is asleep and quiet, the lights are low...it's nice.
    GradyGramNot likes this.
  10. 3
    I work permanent nights by choice. I sleep better during the day. Even when I worked days, I still wanted to stay up until 1 am. I find nights allows for more time to spend with people. And of course, the extra money is a bonus. I also won't flip shifts...ever. I've decided that it's either straight nights, or straight days for me, not both.


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