How long have you worked nights?

  1. I will graduate from an ADN program in May and have started job hunting. I've pretty much accepted that hospitals are going to expect me to work night shift. One hospital I'm interested in will probably pay off some of my loans if I commit to nights for several years. How long have you worked night shift and how is it affecting you and your family? I wouldn't worry about this if I didn't have young kids and a husband because I'm a night owl, but I do think about how working nights will affect them and my health. (I'll be an 'older' grad). Thanks in advance for responding!
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    About RN007

    Joined: Jun '05; Posts: 542; Likes: 114
    from US
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience


  3. by   TazziRN
    I worked nights for about two years because I had to, and then after that it was because I wanted to. In 11 years at my first job, I did a grand total of TWO day shifts, and I hated both of them. The personalities on each shift are different, and I just fit in better with eves and nocs. My ex was also a noc person so it fit with our lifestyle.

    I've been at my current job for 7.5 years and have been on days for 5 of them. I went to days because I had a family by this time, with another husband who is definitely a day person. I could not do nocs with a family and I admire those who do.
  4. by   Tweety
    I worked nights for 13 years before I felt it was impacting my health negatively. My blood pressure was high, I felt like I was a walking zombie all the time. I feel better on dayshift and my BP is borderline high.

    Good luck!
  5. by   traumaRUs
    I worked a rotating day/night thing for one year and almost died - it was the worst thing I've ever done!

    However, I worked 10 years either 1900-0700 or 1500-0300 and it was okay. Not great, but okay. The people that I worked with were wonderful.
  6. by   LadyLurker
    I worked nights for a total of 21 years.... and stopped only because my new job required an RN for 3/11 shift.
    I didn't leave the night shift job because of the hours... there were many and varied negative things about that facility, and working nights made it bearable.

    I LOVED nights, and I raised two children and a husband :wink2: while working them. I made sure I had a GOOD babysitter, and I made sure that I got my 8 hours of sleep each and every day.
    I'm a night owl by nature, and my husband is a morning lark, but that made working nights easier....he always did the early morning stuff with the kids, and I always did the evening and late night stuff.
    My kids didn't feel neglected or hard-done-by, and my family always took my schedule into account for holidays and such.
    And I learned to unplug the phone before I went to bed!

    Health-wise.... there was no real impact on my health due to working nights, I think because I was so religious about getting sleep.

    Now that I work 3/11, I actually see the sun, and can work the occasional 9/5 when my DOC needs me in an Acting DOC capacity.

    But working day shifts????

    I don't wake up that early.

  7. by   Mimi2RN
    Nearly 15 years in this job, 18-0630, and either nights or a split before that. I don't do well getting up early. Even when I'm off, it's usually 1-2 am before I go to bed.

    I've done a few day shifts, to help out, but I won't work week days if I can help it.
  8. by   StNeotser
    Have now worked nocs for 2.5 years. I expect one more year or so of having to do it for family reasons.

    I'm not a natural nightshifter, but do it for facilitating family arrangements.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    7 long years. But after this month, I am pretty much done. At least I work perdiem. I could not handle fulltime NOCs. TOO hard on this body.
  10. by   christvs
    I just started my new NP job in hospital medicine last month, and am working 12 hour night shifts. I am still not used to working throughout the wee hours, and cannot sleep very much during the daytime. When I come home, I sleep from like 8 AM-noon, and then cannot sleep anymore! I am literally not sleepy at that time, even though I am tired. Does that make sense? And right now at 2:30 AM, I am feeling so out of it. I actually like it better when I get paged now, because if it's quiet for a while, I realize how tired I am....but if I try to sleep at work (which they let us do if no one is paging us) and then get woken up by the pager again, I get all groggy and worry I won't be able to make good decisions if I am groggy. But also, I have a hard time even trying to relax or fall asleep at work (when I'm not being paged), because I keep thinking the pager is going to go off at any second. Ugh, I can't win. Anyhow, since I am new to night shifts, I just needed to vent. Thanks! Any advice from anyone?
  11. by   husker_rn
    I've been an eve/noc shifter for all but 18 months of my 17 year nursing career. I am NOT a morning person at all. While on days I had high blood pressure; now I'm back to nights and normal pressures { at least for now}. I'm married to a morning person so like LadyLurker, it worked out well for us.
  12. by   ElvishDNP
    3 years this November.
  13. by   bagladyrn
    I've worked nights (11-7 then 7p-7a) for over 25 years now. It actually worked quite well in raising my son and foster sons as I was gone mostly when they were sleeping and would be up having coffee when they came home from school. You do need reliable sitter arrangements if you don't have a spouse.
    I'm a hardcore nightshifter who has no desire to try and turn the body around - they'd have to pay me double to consider days! I don't mind staying up for sunrise, but I sure hate getting up for it!