Interviewing for Night Shift Charge

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    I have an interview scheduled for this Thursday for a night shift charge nurse on my current unit. I am currently a 100% day shift bedside RN. I have worked an "occasional" night shift and don't mind it, but I am VERY scared/nervous about commiting to a FT night shift position.

    I want to do Charge, but I am totally petrified of the shift. I did night shift for about 8 months 6 years ago and I was soooooo miserable. I literally cried all the time. I am not the type of person who can "live" on that schedule even on my days off, nor is it feasible with my life style. I live on a 15 acre farm with lots of animals and I'm also going to school FT for my BSN. So, I need to be up and moving, on a normal schedule on my days off.

    Also, they way I do my schedule now on days, I am ususally off for 5-6 days, work 6 out of 8, then off for 6 again. This works and I can get TONS done on these days off.

    Any suggestions, tips, etc? Or should I just tell my manager that I've thought about it, talked it over with my hubby and decided to pull my name out. I would love to have the shift differential since I'm in school, as ours is VERY generous, but I'm not sure it's really worth it...I'm scared to death to be honest with everyone. All the what if's....then I'm stuck! And our other night shift charge is stepping back down to the bedside to be on days because of family/health issues that have come up from being on nights.
  2. 10 Comments so far...

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    I would say that if you have already done night shift before and found it hard to do then being charge and doing it will be impossible. You will have greater responsibility as charge and every one will look to you for leadership.
    I work night shift and I'm charge nurse. If you are not able to function on nights I would say to pull your name out now. The shift diff is nice but for your sake as well as those that you will be working with it's not a big enough incentive to go to nights.
    Not every one is able to work nights which is good cause I'm not able to function on days. my body is set to a night time clock, huge nights owl!!
    poppycat likes this.
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    Thanks rncat2000. I do relief charge now, on days, and that occasional on nights which is manageable. My other concern is my drive. I have an hour drive one way from work. I did charge/night shift 2 weekends ago, it wasn't bad, maybe because I knew it wasn't permanent, but my last 10-15 minutes of my drive home were hard. I found it hard trying to stay awake. This is concerning when we have bad weather (snow) and it takes me 2 hours or more to get home.
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    Definitely don't go to nights. You already know that you will be miserable. That it won't work with your lifestyle and other responsibilities. There's really no question, from my point of view.
    VivaLasViejas and poppycat like this.
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    It sounds like your life is good right where you are now. Some people can never adjust to nights. I know I never could, even after doing it for almost 2 years; I felt like crap and had no family life. You already do charge so they know that you're capable. If a charge position opened up on days I'm sure you would have a good crack at it. Make a list of pros and cons. Talk it over with your family. See if it is worth it to change things so much. From some of the things you said, you have some serious doubts about this job. Even though it could be a great opportunity for some, I think in your heart-of-hearts you know you would probably be unhappy. Good luck with whatever you decide, and keep us posted.
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    Quote from Crispy Critter
    It sounds like your life is good right where you are now. Some people can never adjust to nights. I know I never could, even after doing it for almost 2 years; I felt like crap and had no family life. You already do charge so they know that you're capable. If a charge position opened up on days I'm sure you would have a good crack at it. Make a list of pros and cons. Talk it over with your family. See if it is worth it to change things so much. From some of the things you said, you have some serious doubts about this job. Even though it could be a great opportunity for some, I think in your heart-of-hearts you know you would probably be unhappy. Good luck with whatever you decide, and keep us posted.
    This.

    I'm a night shift nurse, through and through. My natural circadian rhythm has me always a later in the day type of person anyway. (Like crack of noon getting up. Day shift was a nightmare for me.) I think people do better if they don't fight their natural biorhythms.

    Sent from my HTC One X using allnurses.com
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    I think you already know this wouldn't work. The extra money would be nice, however it isn't worth it if you're struggling in school and miserable. Stick to days and wait for a charge position to open there.
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    Some people are just not suited to nights. It seems to work for some if you "live your life" sleeping in the day, and up at night. And I am not sure the animals would be too in tune with that idea.

    I don't mind an occasional 11p-7a, however, that is when I sleep a few hours in the morning, then a few hours in the evening.
    If you take occasional charge shifts now, then keep on the current schedule.

    Another problem I see is that if you go to nights, hate it, transfer back, then you are not necessarily going to be able to keep the same hours....and then your whole schedule is off base.

    Once you finish school, you may be able to have a lot of choices that would not seem feasible now. The money may be awesome, but at what cost to your peace of mind?
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
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    Okay if night shift made you cry then don't even consider this. A job is not worth losing your sanity.
    VivaLasViejas and Crispy Critter like this.
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    I'd also be concerned about you long drive home after a night shift. If it doesn't agree with your natural rhythms you might fall asleep at the wheel. Can you pick up any per diem/home health work close to home 1day/week to boost your income?
    Best of luck!


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