First RN job! Transitioning my schedule to work nights help

Nurses Stress 101


Hi everyone! I just landed my first job as an RN after job searching since the end of February! :cheers:

I am going to be working nights (7pm-7:30am). I have never worked nights before and although throughout college I considered myself a night owl since graduating I have re-synced my body to going to bed roughly around 11pm-12 and waking up around 7-8 am. I have no idea how to do this new schedule.

I wanted to know how people have managed this transition into a night shift position?

When do you sleep? Before your first day on, inbetween days, and the last day working after a cluster of days?

Also, how do you sleep on your days off? do you go back to trying to sleep nights instead?

I am married and my husband gets home around 5-6pm...I'd like to not always be sleeping when he's home so that we can spend time together.

Thanks for any input!!!

Specializes in Cath lab, acute, community.

I would also love an answer to this. I think an inconsistent rostered day/night schedule would be harder though!

When I worked nights, I always tried to either work 3 in a row or work a split of 2 and 1, makes it a little easier. On my first night back to work, I would sleep in the day of until 11am or so and then stay up for work and work until 730am, if I was working the next night I would go to bed around 830am and get up about 4pm, work 7p-7a, and then if I'm off that night, I would sleep from 830-about 1230pm and get up and enjoy the rest of my day and flip back to my husband schedule (bedtime around 11, get up about 7ish) for the other nights. Worked for us because of less day care costs, The only days we needed daycare were the times I was sleeping.

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired.

Put sunglasses on as soon as you get home or even earlier. You should have most excellent window coverings so that no crack of light gets in to remind you that it's daytime. Caffeine only in the first few hours of night shift. Remind yourself of the pleasures of working without visitors, rounds, etc. Quality time with the patients is better. Remember that the first year is always stressful and ego-deflating. It does get better!

Thank you for your input! I am going to try that schedule out! sometimes I think should I just try to switch completely to sleeping in the day while my hubs is at work? but then i'm like what would I possibly do with myself ALL night and while he is sleeping?!

subee what type of window shades do you recommend? Right now in my bedroom I have those bigger heavy duty blinds but sun does peer through them and shines in my face every morning.

When I first start orientating I am on days but I'm really nervous about the switch to nights. Part of me wants to practice staying up all night haha so that when on my first day of orientation I have an idea of what its like and am not in zombie mode. When I shadowed this position I literally was sleepy around midnight and yawning non-stop until 1am when I left and went home to my bed.

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired.

Reese0608, hang lined curtains on the window that hang above the top of the shade and extend beyond the sides of the window. With the shade down, lined curtains should offer total blackness. I couldn't stay up all night when off but did my best to stay up until 2 or 3 with an attempt to take a nap before going to work the next night. You just do your best to stay as close as possible to work schedule while making time to ENJOY your life. Remember, people who work the day shift complain incessantly about having to get up so early! Be patient. It takes MONTHS to accomplish any adjustment. It's a great idea to "practice" staying up all night but I would do it gradually over at least a week going to bed 1 or 2 hours later each night. Try not to fret about it. You have a job in the field you wanted. Nothing has to be permanent. I ended up being happiest on 3 - 11 instead of the 12's but have been on days the past 6 years and never quite made a good adjustment to days - the old body rebels against pre-dawn awakenings.

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