Exhausted and depressed on nights

Updated | Posted
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I have currently worked as a nurse on a medsurg unit for 8 months. I have been on nights and am depressed, exhausted, and feel like I don’t have any type of life outside of work. Going to days on my unit isn’t really an option. Today, I had an interview for the inpatient rehab unit within the hospital. I feel like I pretty much have the job. I do want to start going back to school for my MSN soon. My question is, do you think taking the rehab job will impact my resume negatively? For school and future jobs alike. I know it is less intensive skills wise, most patients are very stable, etc. I don’t know if I should take the job, or stay with medsurg.

Dear Depressed and Exhausted,

I'm sorry you are feeling so badly on nights. Some people do not tolerate night shift well at all. Eight months is long enough to know you are not going to adapt.

Yes, working rehab can make you less competitive than working acute care but there's too many variables here to give you a really meaningful answer. It certainly won't hinder your chances of being accepted to graduate school, and whether or not it impacts your ability to land future jobs depends on what you want to do down the road.

Try not to make it an "either/or" situation. It's not "either stay on MedSurg nights" or "negatively affect my resume". There will be opportunities for you and twists and turns to your career path that you can't predict.

I'm saying that if staying on your unit makes you depressed and exhausted, the best thing to do for your health is to make a change.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

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