New grads: day or night shift?

  1. at your facility, which shift is better for new grads, day or night? am I right in assuming it's easier to learn during the night?
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    Joined: Jan '09; Posts: 184; Likes: 217
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  3. by   argos
    I don't think it matters what shift you work. Anything can happen at anytime of the day so it is unrealistic to think that you can learn better depending on the time of the day. I feel that new grads should start precepting on the opposit shift they will be working to get an idea of how it feels to work that shift and then finish their preceptorship on the shift they will be working.
  4. by   JBudd
    Most of our new people begin orienting on days because that is when education schedules all the new employee classes. However, they then end up on nights just because of lack of seniority. Our new grads get around 6 months preceptorship, so they follow which ever shift their preceptor works, 7A-7P, 11A-11P, 3P-3A or 7P-7A.
  5. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from JBudd
    Most of our new people begin orienting on days because that is when education schedules all the new employee classes. However, they then end up on nights just because of lack of seniority.
    Ditto that...

  6. by   RNperdiem
    Most new grads don't have a lot of choice; they work the shifts they can get hired for.
    I once had a nurse manager describe how she decides where to place new grads. She said the personalities and skill levels of the other nurses for that shift were big deciding factors.
    The day shift had highly experienced nurses, but they were a bit aggresive and would not give a new grad much of a chance.
    The night shift nurses were described as very friendly and nurturing and there was more of a mix of new and experienced nurses. So new nurses on that unit tended to start on nights.
  7. by   swirlygirl
    When I was a new grad I started out on split shifts of 12hr days and 12 hr nights. There is a lot more going on during the day (changes in pt's status, new orders, dealing with families and MD's, pt's on and off the floor for various tests, etc) so it could get very hectic and overwhelming at times. I was lucky enough to have a wonderful preceptor who was very organized and really helped me stay organized and really taught me alot, too. That way when I worked night shifts, I had a few more patients at a bit of a slower pace and I was more comfortable to test out my new skills when I wasn't crazy busy and overwhelmed.

    Though, all units are not like the one I started on. Some are just as busy during the night as they are during the day. Try all of the shifts to see which one suits you best! Good luck!!
  8. by   Overland1
    Go with nights; the food is better and the staff is crazier.
  9. by   sunray12
    I would go with nights anyway. I think it's funny when people think days is a seniority perk. I began my working life on the night shift, but I've worked 8 to 5ish or 6ish for years and that has never been easy for me. I would have to get up at 4:45 a.m. to report to work at 7:00 a.m. for me that's brutal. I know I'm going to have to do it for nursing school, but I can't see fighting to live my working life like that.
  10. by   ElvishDNP
    I have worked all shifts in the hospital and would agree w/ those who say that there's no 'better' or 'right' shift to work as a new grad. Me? I like nights because there's no suits, and fewer people fighting over my patient/their chart.
    I have time most nights to read through my charts and do a little digging. The flipside is that there are fewer resources, so you have to learn what is worth calling for, and what is not. (A call at 0100 for Colace is not generally smiled upon. A call at the same hour for a patient bleeding out is quite appropriate.) And, you are fighting against your body's clock in most cases. Bodies don't like to be up when they're supposed to be sleeping and vice versa, and they will eventually let you know that.

    Day shift is its own beast - you are dealing with discharges, admits, family, docs, social work, lactation (this is mother/baby), teaching, and whatever else decides to crop up. A LOT of stimuli to deal with.

    What has happened in both hospitals I've oriented to work at, I oriented to dayshift mostly, then a few shifts of night orientation (at this last place - a whopping 2) and on my own afterward. For a new grad, the orientation is obviously a lot longer. And a good facility will never leave you 'hanging' - you should, in your first year or two, be around other folks with more experience that can help you/answer questions.