New Grads - Rotten Shifts? - page 6

I have heard a lot of conflicting things from nurses and non-nurses regarding new graduate RNs and choices of shifts. The nurses tell me they had no trouble getting day shifts as a new grad. The... Read More

  1. by   rita359
    Reality is hospitals are a 24/7 operation. Most day shift personel at hospitals already did their stint of other shifts. If what you want is 8-5 Mon_Fri. you won't find many of those jobs in hospitals.
  2. by   westies
    Shifts at our institution depend on what is open at the time after offering it up to current staff in the event they want a change. I was originally hired for day/pm, have since then done every rotation available. Now with 2 young kids I've done straight nights for..oh my goodness 8 yrs. I choose to do this, so that I may be at home when my kids arrive home from school or if they are sick or hurt. Not to mention I don't miss the politics of day shift, constant interruptions and phone calls. Although I may suffer a bit more stress with less help, no doctor in house, 2 staff only that are usually on, I do it for mental health as well. For my nights, I especially prefer my weekday 8 hour shifts since they go to bed at 7-730. 12s don't work for us and make it too chaotic in the evening, so I only do it on weekends when my hubby plays stay at home dad all weekend. It helps that I can sleep anytime anywhere.
  3. by   DonC36
    My wife has been out 6 or 7 months and it's been a requirement that new nursing students orientate on days, 7a-3. Like someone else said that's not the best money shift.
  4. by   BlueEyedRN
    My first two weeks off orientation were scheduled to be night shift so I could orient to nights if I needed to do it. I was scheduled for four nights in a row and I was completely dreading it and all the experienced nurses thought it was horrible that they would do that to me. The first night was horrible, but by the end of the fourth, I was loving night shift. I learned more in those four nights than in the previous month. I wasn't just giving meds and talking to doctors the whole time like during the day. I was able to do all the stuff for my patients and then go learn from all the other patients on the unit as well. The other nurses totally let me follow them around and practice procedures on their patients. It was still busy, but everyone worked together and it was way more fun and I got so much experience. I loved it! Everyone always said that you learned way more on day shift than night because docs did rounds and you went to ct and did discharges. But at night, you learn a lot more critical thinking because you don't have the doctor right there and you'd better have a darn good reason for calling so you really learn what is important and why and be anticipating a lot more than during the day. I work in the ICU though so we still get a lot of interesting stuff at night when patients code on the floor or traumas come in from the ER. But it totally isn't necessarily true that you learn more during the day.
    Last edit by BlueEyedRN on Dec 11, '06
  5. by   Imafloat
    Quote from MililaniMom
    I used to be a night owl/vampire. In fact, one of the reasons I entertained choosing nursing as a career was because it offered nights. In my current career, it is only days. I learned to be an early bird after I had my son. Everything centers around him now. I will have to wait until he's away to college before I can work nights, that is....if I had a choice. It seems that it really depends on a lot of factors, after reading all the responses. Thanks to all of you! It really helps me out to learn everyone's experiences!
    Actually, nights work well with small children. I will be working nights (7p-730a) and I have small children. I enrolled my younger children in before/after school care at daycare the 3 days I will be working. My husband will take them to daycare in the morning and I will pick them up around 4:00, when my older kids get home from school. This will allow me to sleep from about 8:30-3:30, make dinner, help the kids with homework and have a bit of a normal family life before going to work.

    I interviewed for and was offered day positions, but the night shift job is in an area I have a passion for. I am a night owl anyways, I usually do my heavy cleaning and laundry at night, starting at about 10 pm. My only concern with night shift will be the stretch between 3am-5am, I naturally want to go to sleep then.
  6. by   RNperdiem
    Twelve hour shifts were less common when I graduated. One reason I think hospitals went to 12 hour shifts was to eliminate the 3-ll shift. Nobody seemed to want to work it. New grads were rotated to it until they could claim a straight days or nights position. I liked 3-11 as a CNA/student, but for a lot of people it meant rarely seeing their family, and having little evening social life.
  7. by   Uberman5000
    Quote from MililaniMom
    I have heard a lot of conflicting things from nurses and non-nurses regarding new graduate RNs and choices of shifts. The nurses tell me they had no trouble getting day shifts as a new grad. The non-nurses tell me most new grads end up on rotten graveyard shifts and night shifts and that you have no choice of day or night when you are new.

    I have only talked to two nurses about this. One is a recent new grad and the other is a 23 yr. veteran. The new grad used to work as an occupational therapy assistant, so perhaps that is why she got day shift (people knew her)?

    Can anyone else share their knowledge with me? I would like to go to nursing school to get my RN and I am doing research to see if it would fit in with my family life, as I have a 3 year old. Any suggestions/comments/responses would be greatly appreciated!
    Hmmm...I dont follow - It seems like a pretty uneducated statement. "All new grads dont have a choice of shifts".

    Try not to base your entire decision whether or not to join the nursing profession on one person telling you that new grads are forced to work only nightshifts. Then again, if you like ill defined uneducated blanket generaliziations you should keep listening to non nurses.

    Hospitals need nurses, they cant "force" you to work a can set your own hours k?
  8. by   JenNJFLCA
    I'm a new nurse and I got day shift right off the bat. I think it just depends on the demand.
  9. by   Slayer
    I chose to pick the 11-7 shift because it is less demanding for a newer Nurse. Plus, I would learn a ton of information and it would better prepare for the more stressful/demanding dayshift position if I ever chose to go that route in the future.
  10. by   Rme4life
    I did not read all of the posts so I hope I am not just repeating, but I just worked with a new nurse that lives about a 30 min drive away and decided to take a job (even with a commute) in a larger town because the smaller town she lives in would only offer her nights. She wanted days and got on right away. For her the commute was worth it.

    On another note, i like the swing shift, you can sleep in and go out after work if you want and still have a social life. But it is def. not for everyone. I like 8hr shifts and hope to work them some day in the future.
  11. by   CVICURN2003
    Quote from RaElrA
    Hmmm. Never thought about it like that. I am a student and a night owl as well who will welcome the "rotten shift," but I do want to be in a position to learn as much as possible, and I do like to stay busy. Any suggestions? I do so want to make the right choice!
    Well, actually, I found working the night shift when I was a new grad to be better than days. No you don't have the interaction with docs but you also don't have all of the other ancillary people around wanting your chart, your flow sheet, your computer, social services about the family, the dieticitan about your tube feed, the MD's who want to chat..... I learned so much on night shift. Although nights is just as busy as days, it is a different kind of busy. On nights, I would actually get to spend QUALITY time with my patients. On days, I don't always feel that I get to give that "extra" to a patient or family member. My patients are always well taken care of, just not always EXACTLY the way I would like them to be. And as an OCD ICU nurse that really bothers me. On nights as a new grad, I was always given very sick patients, because usually we had a free charge nurse and I worked with a group of experienced nurses who were very tolerant and constructive with me. What I learned on nights is invaluable to me. Personally, I loved the shift, but DH works nights, so no childcare for the kiddos.

    On days, I have learned to argue with radiology (Why can't I bring my unstable, vented, swanned pt for a carotid downstairs) and to put up with MD's sh... Oh yeah, and I get to have vistors THREE times a day. Yay.
  12. by   JPine
    Quote from GatorRN
    When I was a new grad, many moons ago, I had a choice of days or nights, whichever I wanted. I think it probably varies with location and facility.

    I chose nights, I guess I'm a sucker for the "rotten shifts." I'm also a sucker for the nice 29% differential. Although, I'd work nights even without it, but it sure makes for a puuuuurty check.
    29% differential!!! I'm getting screwed with my 15%! YUK! I'm jealous!
  13. by   CarVsTree
    Quote from JPine
    29% differential!!! I'm getting screwed with my 15%! YUK! I'm jealous!

    I get a measely 75 cents!

    However I get a $5000 bonus this year for working nights and $7000 next year (unless I go to critical care next year, then no bonus).