I've done the rotating thing. NEVER AGAIN! Circadian rhythms get totally messed up and one tends to become more irritable, depressed, etc. I've done the noc shift for 3+ years now. And, just in passing, I maintain my noc schedule on my off days as well but I can switch to the day shift prn.
As far as skills goes. I think that the only skills that you wouldn't get on the noc shift would be things like the whole concept of the multidisciplinary team, less 1:1 interactions w/ the docs, discharges, etc.
However, when ppl are in the hospital, whether they are A&O x3 or not, they don't sleep well. They still are awake w/ pain, nervousness, etc not to mention routine nursing cares (IV pumps alarming, vital signs, turns, positioning, meds, etc) . Rare is the time that I have a pt who says "Ok, I am going to sleep now and I don't expect to wake up all noc". When pts are sleeping, IVs get pulled out or infiltrate, dyspnea occurs......pretty much, anything that happens on days happens on the noc shift. Let's not forget to mention the paperwork. It's all the same on nocs. We still have to sign off on orders, transcribe orders, and lets not forget about those 24 hour chart checks!
We also consult the docs frequently on the noc shift. It is beyond my comprehension why they don't write prn orders for OTC meds/treatments. And then they have the nerve to get upset w/ us for waking them at 0300 for a tylenol order????? Ok, so I digress.
IMO, doing straight shifts is better on your body, mind, and soul.