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First night shift this week...


I will be doing my first 12 hour night shift this week. Any tips on how to make it successful??? :)


Has 4 years experience.

Coffee!!! xD Make sure to get a couple of hours of rest prior to your shift. Wear comfortable shoes and scrubs.


Specializes in Operating Room. Has 9 years experience.

Bring lots of water and healthy snacks! Welcome to the dark side :)

Sent from my iPhone using allnurses

Keep busy! I noticed that when I sit down to start charting is when I start to hit the wall.

kiszi, RN

Has 9 years experience.

Eat a balanced meal with plenty of protein before going in. Caffeine may help but don't overdo it. Good luck!

NotMyProblem MSN, ASN, BSN, MSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

Make sure you eat something BEFORE your shift begins. Once you clock in, you're going to be rolling at warped speed until around midnight. Prepare for this shift like would a long road trip, with those road rage drivers and all! Contrary to popular belief, patients actually do NOT sleep at night. Those that do WILL set their alarms to go off every 3-4 hours...for obvious reasons.

sistrmoon, ASN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 14 years experience.

I've been working nights for 7 years and still hit a wall around 4 am. I anticipate it and try to be up and walking at that time. Everyone else has given great suggestions.

Get rest before your shift. I'm not talking taking a quick nap before a 12-hour shift; no one would suggest doing that before a day shift, so...not during nights, either. SLEEP on a reasonable schedule. If you're not sleeping (haven't yet adjusted, etc) then STAY IN BED and rest. Nothing worse than getting up and going grocery shopping "because you can't sleep" and then you're beyond exhausted for your shift.

Stay hydrated. Protein for snacks (filling and less likely to create the spikes/lows that carbs do).

I don't do nights anymore, but I still consider myself a Noc Girl at heart :)

I had a noc preceptorship during my final semester of my BSN program (just graduated in May). Prior to a 12-hour night shift...let's say it was on Tuesday night, I would stay up til 2-3am on the prior Monday night. This is because napping was never good enough for me, so staying up late on Monday would allow me to sleep in late before my shift that night.

I also really think that hydrating and bringing energizing snacks makes a huge difference. There are occasionally rough times being a night-shifter but overall I loved it. It's really fun and different. I start a night-shift L&D job this August! Good luck!

I have been working night shift all but 2 years of my nursing career. I have been in nursing for 8 years. Everyone is different, but the most important thing is to get enough sleep. Buy black-out curtains, make it cool in your room, turn off the tv. Your body is going to hate you for awhile, but it will get used to it. Good Luck. :angrybird9::sleep:

Mr. Murse

Specializes in critical care. Has 7 years experience.

Really, it's rather simple: try to make it exactly like it is when you work days shift......except reversed.

Unless you have kids or something absolutely keeping you from doing so, just accept that you are now one of the freaks of night shift and let your body get into the schedule. Go to bed late (as in 2 or 3), even on your days off. Trying to flip flop back and forth just confuses your body unless you're one of those people that can just sleep whenever, wherever.

Also, eat healthy. I bring an apple, banana, and avocado to work almost every shift, and usually some almonds or something to snack on. Night shift employees often develop terrible eating habits because your tired body thinks it needs those Krispy Kreme doughnuts the family from room such-and-such brought in for energy, but in the long run the junk food will leave you feeling sluggish and crappy.

So basically, as I said at first, just try to do what you should do anyway for day shift, just reverse it.

Good news you guys!....

I actually LIKE the night shift :)

Don't get me wrong, it's strange seeing the sun go down and come up, but during those down hours after mid-night when the residents on the floor as sleeping my true introvert loooooves the quiet :)

Now will it always be that way? Of course it prob won't. But so far - I dig it!!!!