Crazy hours


I'm very interested in being a nurse in the neonatal field, but I can't quite figure out how you guys cope with the bizarre hours. Working 12 hour shifts at night seems difficult on anybody, especially someone who is a mother with a family, ect. I'm also interested in being a CNM, but the thing is, those hours are crazy, too!!

I also have a mood disorder, although its mild. I feel that the goofy (as in, not going with the "normal" workweek) might throw me off, cause my moods to cycle and ultimatley, make me very unhappy!

What is your advice about the schedule in the NICU? I'm really interested in this field at all levels, but I'm just not sure if I can handle the hours.


Specializes in Neonatal ICU (Cardiothoracic). Has 9 years experience. 2 Articles; 2,512 Posts

You don't only have to work nights, although new nurses usually end up doing some time on nights before moving to days when their turn comes up. I have worked nights for so long that I am used to it. I occasionally get some insomnia on my nights off, but is happening to me right now, and I've been off for a week and a half. (I've always been a night owl) You may find a unit that has day shift openings, or does 8hr shifts. Many units also keep new grads on days for an extended period of time, up to six months at my hospital. I plan on coming to days when my turn comes up for the reason of making attending grad school easier. I much prefer the camaraderie and different pace on night shift, not to mention the lack of management and an excessive number of doctors and visitors roaming around.

That being said, I do not have children, and can go home and have no trouble sleeping during daytime. As long as you keep active and hydrated, most people can handle night-shift. You may want to consult with your GP about your mood disorder before starting nights.

RainDreamer, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 17 years experience. 3,571 Posts

Crazy hours? I work 12 hour shifts, from 7 pm to 7 am. I love it, it's the perfect shift for me. I only have to work 3 days and I get 4 days off.

For me, crazy hours would be working 9 am to 5 pm, 5 days a week :D Only 2 days off?!


texas2007, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 2 years experience. 281 Posts

For me, crazy hours would be working 9 am to 5 pm, 5 days a week :D Only 2 days off?!

Exactly! I always smile when I am either going to work or coming home going 70 mph and the traffic on the other side is already bumper to bumper. I can't imagine sitting in that kind of traffic daily!!!



Specializes in NICU. 134 Posts

I haven't started my job yet (June 26!), but I will be working three 12-hour shifts per week from 7pm to 7am. I was worried that it would be hard for me to adjust to staying up all night. I graduated May 16 and will not be working until June 26. I've found that without a rigid schedule I stay up later and later studying, doing laundry, reading, or whatever and feel more awake. I've even stayed up until 5 or 6 am a few times. I'm now seeing that it will be much better for me to work nights because I'm not a morning person, and I'm much more alert at night.

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