Days or nights as a new grad?

Nursing Students Post Graduate


Specializes in Med/Surg Oncology.


I am a new graduate nurse who has been working on a medical oncology floor of small community hospital, just outside of one of the biggest medical cities and have been there for 3 years as a nursing assistant. My boss called me yesterday asking which position I would prefer:

36 hour nights (3 12 hour shifts) or 32 hour days (4 8 hour shifts)

Every post on this website is all about how hard it is to find a day job and so I can't really find the advise I need. Please let me know which you think would be better for a new grad.

Additional information:

I have primarily worked day shift while being a nursing assistant and know that staff all too well.

I have done a good chunk of evening shifts and one overnight (I did it specifically thinking that when I graduate I'll start on nights). I did well on the night shift and I've known that I like the staff. I've loved eves.

I am a morning person (but that could be because who I live with are morning people).

I have student loan debt, but will be living with my family until I get it under control (I was hoping to leave sooner rather than later even though I love them).

I know that on nights you you have more time to learn the whole picture. I worry about being able to keep up on days.

My school did not have preceptorship in our last semester, we had 5 person clinicals and so I feel at a disadvantage, as I've only had 2 patients at once. The nurses on my floor typically have 4-6 patients.

I know that my boss wants me on days, as the day staff was advocating for me to work there upon graduation.

I worrry about not being able to get all my work done within the 8 hour shift (I know it will take me a little bit to get into the swing, but I'm concerned for long term).

I admit that I need to not say this, but my pride may be slightly broken because I want to be working full time (and 32 hrs is considered part time with benefits at my work and the benefits I'll use will be at the same level as full timers).

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

Is 36 hours considered full time?

I would take the night shift for a number of reasons. Three 12s is generally considered full time, which is going to look better than part time when you're looking for your next job. Three 12s is actually better for learning how to pace your shift. It's more money. Night shift isn't as slow as people seem to think, but you will have more time to look up the answers to questions that pop up during your shift. Fewer visitors, consulting services, road trips, management and scheduled activities. This means that you have more autonomy about planning your shift and fewer interruptions when you're trying to figure something out. You have more time to read the chart. You like the staff -- most places have better team work on nights. And did I mention that it's more money?

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