Advice for a new graduate starting night shift?

  1. I graduated nursing school and have accepted a job offer from where I previously had a clinical rotation. I'm very excited about starting, but this will be on nights and I have a child. Are there any other nurses who have worked night shift with a child or children, and do you have an tips on living this kind of life style? My schedule will be three 12's a week. I precepted on night shift, but this will be permanent.
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    About mstaurus2016

    Joined: Feb '16; Posts: 18; Likes: 53

    5 Comments

  3. by   brownbook
    My husband was at home at night with our children.

    I don't know your situation. Who helped you with child care while you were in school or when you precepted on the night shift?
  4. by   mstaurus2016
    Thank you for replying. My grandmother would watch her while I precepted because her father is also on night shift. I'm hoping it won't be too hard because I will only be working three days a week. Any advice on making it through a shift?
  5. by   Accolay
    Sleeping is important so figure that into your child care equation. You'll have to figure out what sleep schedule works best for you. It might take a little bit of trial and error to find out what works: darkened rooms, ear plugs, Ambien... There are a few threads already on that subject you can check out.

    Adjusting to the night shift isn't the only hurdle, it's that you're a new nurse. There's no way around it- it's going to be challenging. More so with the kid, but it will work out in the end. I knew a single mom RN once with many kids who worked like a dog for them- like max hours, 120 per pay period while she also did her associates to bachelors. She had to be very organized and had a very tight schedule as far as I know. If you're finding your new schedule hard, think of that!

    Work hard, take care of your patients and good luck.
  6. by   Lizfuf7
    I worked nightshift for 1.2 years full time (that was all i could take). Im glad I did because it was a great start to learning my hands on skills and opened doirs in the future for me. I agree sleep is crucial. It took a bit to figure out a good sleeping pattern, but this is what worked for me:

    Slept four hours before My first 12 hr shift started > worked a 12 hr night shift > came home and slept until next shift > worked 12 hr > slept until next shift > after all my shifts were worked and My last shift ended, I pulled and all "nighter" (more like all "day-er) and stayed awake until the following night > slept 12 hours and got back to a day routine.


    This may not be helpful with children, but it was a great sleep pattern for me and i hope it can help.My grandmother had 3 kids and worked night shift for decades. My grandfather watched them overnight, then she somehow took over when she came home. I know it was stressful for them, but they made it work.

    If anything, maybe you can get a year or two experience then move in to a more family friendly nursing career path.
  7. by   NurseYoshi
    Quote from Lizfuf7
    I worked nightshift for 1.2 years full time (that was all i could take). Im glad I did because it was a great start to learning my hands on skills and opened doirs in the future for me. I agree sleep is crucial. It took a bit to figure out a good sleeping pattern, but this is what worked for me:

    Slept four hours before My first 12 hr shift started > worked a 12 hr night shift > came home and slept until next shift > worked 12 hr > slept until next shift > after all my shifts were worked and My last shift ended, I pulled and all "nighter" (more like all "day-er) and stayed awake until the following night > slept 12 hours and got back to a day routine.


    This may not be helpful with children, but it was a great sleep pattern for me and i hope it can help.My grandmother had 3 kids and worked night shift for decades. My grandfather watched them overnight, then she somehow took over when she came home. I know it was stressful for them, but they made it work.

    If anything, maybe you can get a year or two experience then move in to a more family friendly nursing career path.
    That's what I did over the summer (I worked FT as a tech but I'm prn) and lately I've had a hard time adjusting. I just graduated and will be FT nights starting in 2 weeks. I can't seem to sleep since I passed NCLEX last week. I'm trying to re-figure out a routine that'll work for me without constant exhaustion. I've worked nights for a little over a year already and I'm noticing some of those "issues" that people say turn them off to night shifts (I've had lots of tummy troubles lately). I signed a bonus contract that said I'd agree to nights for 3 years and I truly love nights, but I'm hoping full time nights will help with my tummy troubles and insomnia issues. Either way, I'm super excited to start working! Main thing people don't seem to realize or think about with nights is that SLEEP IS SO IMPORTANT! Your car can go to the shop on your off day. You don't HAVE to go grocery shopping at noon between your 2nd and 3rd night. I never understand people who purposely plan stuff during the day between shifts (unless it's early AM or later PM) and I'll be honest and say if you constantly ask to swap shifts because you didn't sleep, I will say something about how you need to prioritize your sleep.

    Anyways, kinda went off on a tangent. My advice for mstaurus2016 is to just figure out what works. Black out curtains, ear plugs, music, white noise, warning signs, telling family to do quiet activities far away from your room during the days you NEED sleep, enjoy time on your off days with your kiddos. As far as daycare, I know some people who use the hospital daycare during the day when they try to sleep, but our daycare isn't 24/7. I know some people have coworkers babysit their kids and they just kinda alternate. Who's a better babysitter than a trained nurse? lol

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