I have been a nurse for 8 months, work on a very busy post surgical med/surg unit. I just turned 49, am in pretty good health, not overweight really, maybe 10 pounds or so. I am working 4 8hr shifts/week. Many times I am there longer than 8 hours. I rarely take a break, our relief nurse leaves at 7:30 PM, and on the evening shift, it is pretty busy when coming on. My question is, are any of you exhausted, really bone tired, and if so, have you found anything that helps? When I work, the next day I am so darn tired I don't get anything done. Even if I got enough sleep, it's not enough. After one day off, the next I am okay. But when I have 2 days off, one is spent just doing bare minimum, then the next I can get some things around the house done. I have regular MD appts, recent blood work, etc. I am obligated to work 32 hours/week for two years, part of orientation agreement. I am hoping after the 1 year mark I can talk them into 3 days/week. I sure am pooped. As I get more experienced, will the fatigue lessen as the stress on myself lessens?