Bored on night shift- should I ask for transfer?

  1. 0
    Hi everyone,
    I'm a new grad and I've been working night shift on a tele/med-surg floor for about a month. The hospital is giving me 3 months of orientation with a preceptor. So far, I love what I do (taking care of the patients) and even though there's a lot I don't know, I feel like work isn't challenging enough and I'm bored on my shift. The first 4-5hr of the shift is okay, but through out the night it's very slow and there's so much down time. Is night shift usually like this?? I don't like it all because 1. I'd end up sitting around and being bored, 2. the nurses tend to group together and gossip ALOT which I don't like. and 3. I feel like I'm not getting the experience I need to become competent. As a new grad, I want to get my feet wet as much as possible and I don't know if night shift allows for that. I'm thinking of asking for a transfer to another unit. My question is, would it make me look bad since I was hired to cover for the shortage on the unit I'm on now? Or would the director try to fire me since it'd come off as I don't want to work on her floor? I really don't like my unit, my coworkers, my preceptor, my director...I don't know what to do.

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  2. 33 Comments...

  3. 5
    Personally, I'd give it a year. Yeah, I know the unit doesn't owe you anything, they'd fire you in a heartbeat, yadayadayada. But the manager took a chance on you and spent tons of money training you. Night shift can have a lot of downtime no matter the unit and staff does a lot of talking as well as eating to keep themselves awake. If it were me I'd ask for a day transfer on the same unit. If that can't happen I'd give it a year and then transfer. Trust me, you'll be way more marketable then.
  4. 0
    You may not be able to transfer. Many hospitals don't allow transfers until one year. Some will allow it if it is a promotion. You need to check and see if transferring is even an option. That said, I agree with the post above. It could affect your career.
  5. 9
    OOOh OP, I would not stir the waters in this economy. Find something to bring with you to study when you have down time. There has to be tons you don't know.

    There are tons of NGs out here, like sharks (me) circling just waiting for your job. I wouldn't splash around too much.
  6. 6
    I agree with the others who are saying to stick it out for a year. Try to find new things to see and learn on the unit during your down time. Ask the other nurses if they have a patient with an interesting history or device that's new to you, thumb through your policy and procedure manuals, ask if someone can go over what's in the code cart or check out the code blue documentation form. Sometimes new grads have the opposite problem... they are so busy that they don't have the time to learn and feel comfortable with those things (or even use the bathroom!), so make the best of the extra time that you have.
  7. 19
    So you're still on orientation? When I was still on orientation on night shift I had a lot of down time and time to eat lunch and go to the bathroom and do some mandatory education all because my preceptor was there to help me out. Are you even taking a full pt. load? Now that I've been off orientation for about three months I can count the times I have had down time on one hand. I can also count the times I've actually had enough time to eat lunch on one hand. Being on orientation and on your own are two totally different worlds. What I wouldn't give to still be on orientation. I'm sure that once you come off orientation you will have MORE than enough to occupy you.
  8. 1
    You can always ask your manager if you could precept for awhile on days, so that you can see more procedures, deal with docs, RT, PT, OT, case workers, etc. The only way it may be a problem is if they don't have anyone to precept you. Ask if they will have any openings on the day shift any time soon after you get off orientation. I don't think it'll hurt anything to ask that. I wouldn't ask for a transfer. Doesn't look good, and I doubt any other units would take you without a minimum of 6 months experience. I just went to night shift after being on days for awhile. You're right, there is quite a bit of downtime, but I like that it's not so crazy and stressful as the day shift is. Hope it works out.
    AnonRNC likes this.
  9. 2
    Bored on a tele floor?!!? Dang, where do you work? I wanna switch places with you.
    alem-tsahai and nursemike like this.
  10. 4
    Maybe it's the calm before the storm. Census goes up and down. More than likely about the time you are bored the flood gates might open up and you'll be grateful for the quieter nights. I agree with many of the other posters. Bring some of your books and maybe you can quiz each other on some of the questions.....who knows, maybe the vets might learn a little something too. Stay put and get some time under your belt. A month isn't enough time to make any rash decisions.
    NRSKarenRN, TipitiwichitRN, fungez, and 1 other like this.
  11. 4
    There is always something to do at every shift. On night shift I usually ask the nurse on unit if there is anything I can do to help, I may learn something new. There may be equipment to clean, nurses station to be straightened up. Read facility policies and procedures. Even better, break up the gossip scene and offer your help in something that needs to be done.
    Ayvah, TipitiwichitRN, nursemike, and 1 other like this.

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