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Help a New Grad decide shift pleeeeese

Nurses   (1,826 Views 11 Comments)
by LisaJanae LisaJanae (Member)

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Hi....new grad here...trying to choose a pm shift (5 days a week 1500-2300) or night shift (3 days a week 7p to 7a).

My question is...would a new grad learn anything on a night shift? I know things are still going on during the night...but I am afraid I will miss out on something if I take the night shift. On the other hand, I would prefer the 3 days a week thing! (and I would actually like to see my husband - if I work the 3-11 shift I'll pretty much only see him on weekends)

Any thoughts, wisdome, advice?

Thanks!

-Lost new grad...:uhoh3:

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Imafloat has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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I have a friend who has been working 1500-2300 for 6 months and she is miserable. She has a husband and a teenage daughter and the problem is that she never sees them. Her husband works normal day shift so she is gone before he gets home. She stays an extra hour or 2 most nights, due to paperwork, etc. She is trying to get on a 12 hour shift, be it days or nights.

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cheshirecat specializes in midwifery, gen surgical, community.

246 Posts; 3,931 Profile Views

I think the way Americans do a set shift system is great. We can do 7-3pm, 2-10pm and 9p,-7am all in the same week. We often only get a weeks notice of our shifts as well, which makes family life hard.

I would go for the 5 shifts 3-11 if I where you. It might ease you in to being on your feet all day, and you may learn more.

Whatever you do, good luck with your new job. I have a big smile on my face as I have just been offered an outpatients job in a speciality I love. I will also look forward to having my weekends off and not working Christmas Day.

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I worked night shift while I was in school and managed to learn plenty. I got to like it. My intentions at that place, were to make myself available to work between nights and PMs once I finished school. The person that I was hired to replace would always call in sick when they put her on PM shift (because she slept on nights). I think night shift is a good shift to start, then go to PMs, then to days. That way you see all three shifts, learn something on all of the shifts, and can find out what fits you best. Good luck.

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NeosynephRN specializes in ICU, PACU, Cath Lab.

564 Posts; 7,314 Profile Views

I am a new grad...just passed NCLEX and I will be starting on a 7p-7a shift. Most of my orientation will be done on the day shift so that I get a feel for the way the unit works during the day. You will still be able to learn on nights...JMO

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mom and nurse specializes in Acute rehab/geriatrics/cardiac rehab.

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Hi....new grad here...trying to choose a pm shift (5 days a week 1500-2300) or night shift (3 days a week 7p to 7a).

My question is...would a new grad learn anything on a night shift? I know things are still going on during the night...but I am afraid I will miss out on something if I take the night shift. On the other hand, I would prefer the 3 days a week thing! (and I would actually like to see my husband - if I work the 3-11 shift I'll pretty much only see him on weekends)

Any thoughts, wisdome, advice?

Thanks!

-Lost new grad...:uhoh3:

Hi LisaJanae. Welcome to Allnurses!!:welcome:

I was hired as a new grad to alternate days 7 - 3:30pm and evenings 3 - 11:30pm (they told me they could not hire me for only day positions because I was a new grad and there were nurses who wanted to switch to days who had been there before me. I didn't want to work only evenings because of the reasons a previous poster mentioned. In my case, I had 5 teens at home at the time. Unfortunately, I did discover that since they came home around 2:35 pm and I had to leave around 2:20 I would go days without seeing them unless I could get myself out of bed by 5:30am in the morning after coming home at midnight. My husband had a night shift job at the time (which is why I could not do night shift, nor did I want to...) so I was able to see him but I lost contact with the kids on the weeks I worked evenings....it was a hard time. Now with just one who is still in high school, I work as needed on evening shift (which I actually prefer over the day shift).

I know a new grad I helped to precept with small children. She's working the night shift now 7pm - 7am and we trained her on the day shift for some time before she switched to nights. She wanted to be able to work only 3 days a week (36 hours) and be able to see her children during the day (though I wonder how much sleep she is getting). She likes night shift (which is not as quiet as some folks believe I've heard).

Hope this helps..

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8 Posts; 632 Profile Views

Well, I guess it depends on the facility and how busy it gets on nights. I think for a new grad it might be better to start out on day shift, not that you can't learn on nights but the training is usually better on days due to the simple fact that it is busier, more is going on for you to learn from. If it is possible for you to orientate on days and then move to nights once your training is better, try that. that way you get a feel for both shifts. I was trained on day shift, then moved to nights. After experiencing the two, I realized that i am a night shift girl and have been working nights ever since.

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I had a few weeks of daytime orientation (12 hours each day so it did go into evenings) and then went onto 12 hour nights. I have learned SO MUCH on nights I can't even begin to list it all.

I would suggest that you make sure that you DO have daytime orientation time, so that you see what happens on those days. It gives a better perspective when you're on nights, and may or may not see those same things, but certainly gets you familiar with the "beat" of your unit.

Beyond that, the idea that you don't learn anything on nights is a crock! If you have a decent preceptor on nights, of course, or at least a staff of co-workers who is willing to answer your thousand and two questions (which you'd better have if you're worth anything!), nights can be GREAT.

You will have the same type of emergent situations you'd have on evenings. You'll have even many of the same procedures (remember, most of the "routine" stuff does happen before 6pm, when "daytime" staff is done). You won't have lots of MDs around, and lots of ancillary staff, though, so there's less resources around in general. You'll have to get comfortable with calling doctors in the middle of the night as needed, because they aren't just down the hall.

The biggest thing is you'll have to learn to rely on your OWN judgment and assessments much faster. After all, who is there with you? You can of course get your charge nurse or another nurse to eyeball something with you, but they aren't going to be there to walk you through everything with every patient. You will be making judgments based on what you CAN do, rather than what you can ask someone else to do for you. Skeleton crew for all services. IVs go bad, people get blood transfusions, surgeries take place, people code, stable patients get unstable, blood needs to be drawn for lab (which you will probably do if pt has PICC line), pain control takes a nosedive, dementia pts get even moreso....nights are a great opportunity to learn, as any shift. You will have admissions just as much on nights as days. Rarely discharges, but admissions aplenty, depending on your unit of course. In med-surg, we see people who have stacked into the ED in the afternoon, got eventually seen and worked over, then packed up to us in the wee hours of the morning. Those people require assessments, pain management, nursing interventions and MD orders done. They may be coming back from OR or getting ready to go there shortly. They could have absolutely ANYTHING going wrong on them, and usually do.

All in all, I am amazed at the QUALITY of the nurses I have seen on our night shifts. Any ideas that they aren't good nurses (or they'd be on dayshift) is beyond insulting and totally absurd. The nurses in my experience, on nightshift, are actually some of the best. They have ALL done days and evenings. And the knowledge they are able to pass along to newbies on nights is FABULOUS. You DO get the time, some of the time anyway, to go over in detail more of the patient's care and history for education purposes.

If you're a nightperson who functions fine for those 12 hours overnight, I'd say go for it (provided those conditions I mentioned earlier are in place!). If you just don't see yourself doing extended shifts, well, maybe the evening is better for you.

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience as a RN.

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I think one of the reasons that many hospitals went to 12hr shifts was to eliminate the 3-11 shift. It was always a hard one to fill. When I graduated, there were always plenty of openings for evenings.

I would pick the 3 nights per week. Don't worry, there will be plenty to learn on nights.

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