Specializes in Oncolgy.

Hi all. I am excited but afraid. I was just offered a job and it is a rotating shift. I've NEVER WORKED NIGHTS BEFORE. I still have one semester to go and the job is secured contingent on the NCLEX pass. I just want to know ahead of time how to prepare for this. I DO NOT want to turn this down just because of that. It will lead to better opening doors in the future. PLEASE, I need your help, input and thoughts.

A job offer is a good thing--CONGRATS.

I'm afraid that nights is not the biggest problem with rotating shifts--rotating itself is. I can't speak for everyone obviously, but one of the tips for acclimating to night shift is to develop a healthy personal schedule for working that shift. Some people thrive working nights, and there are some great people who do it. Personally I think nights can be fun, even.

But the rotating. Just when you get acclimated to a shift it's time to work a different shift and stay awake and alert at a completely opposite time.

I'll stop with that because I know you are excited and it is exciting to have a tentative job offer. If it were me I would inquire whether the position could be any straight shift; whichever shift they need help the most.

Good luck!

HiddencatBSN, BSN

Specializes in Peds ED. Has 10 years experience.

Rotating is really hard, much harder than straight nights. I’d accept the job but continue to look unless they’re making you sign a contract (not a job offer letter, but an actual contract committing yourself). Have they told you how often you switch shifts? Is it weekly, per schedule, or could you work multiple shifts in a single week?

When working nights I try to work 2-3 shifts in a row. Between shifts I wind down after work and then sleep for 6-7 hours. After my last shift I try to cut my sleep short to 4-5 hours, get up, try to do some things with the day (but nothing super taxing) and then go to bed at a decent hour or not too late. On my days off I do a day schedule but the day before a night shift I try to get a nap in before work, ideally 4 hours but I can get by with 2.

If you’re switching shifts within the week that’s especially tough and you’ll be spending the bulk of your free time catching up on sleep or being tired. If the shifts rotate on a larger block (I applied somewhere once where you do 6 weeks of days and then 6 weeks of nights) you’ll be able to get yourself on more of a schedule.

Good luck, and CONGRATS!

Ms. Oz RN, ADN

Specializes in Oncolgy.

Okay yes it is every four weeks I would be changing. 36 hours a week. Every other weekend. I have no small kids and a very good hubby who is not needy. I practice time management really well. But the change in sleep and the likes. I love the feedback people! Thanks. I am excited.