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I hate night shift

Posted

Specializes in PACU, Oncology/hospice. Has 2 years experience.

I am a new grad RN, graduated in December, passed NCLEX in Feb 1st try 75 questions (so happy I did that I was a nervous wreck!) Started my job as an RN that week after the license came through I was already working as an intern. I thought oh night shift it won't be that bad, etc............ I WAS WRONG VERY VERY WRONG. I am married no kids though thankfully, my husband works day shift at his job. I barely see him on the nights I go in we meet up at a store or something and I see him for 10-15 min before I go in since by the time he would get home I would of already left for work, I cry every time I have to leave him and here lately I have been crying privately at work. I do better if I am with my husband all day prior to going in but that can't always happen if it is like today a Monday and he is at work and I am here waiting for 5pm crying so I can leave and go see him for 10 min before I go into work. I feel pathetic, my work environment has gotten worse we are almost always short sometimes leaving me with 6 or 7 patients which I can not adequately take care of ( I mean they are taken care of but I feel like I am constantly forgetting something or not providing the best care for), corporate is on our butts about freaking everything, I am currently applying for NP school since really the reason I came into the nursing profession was so I could obtain my FNP degree and work in a Dr office and have more one on one time with patients and of course have better hours sometimes. I have to give a shout out to all you floor nurses out there who do handle it and all you night shift nurses who handle it, you are better than me ! I have looked and looked for day shift jobs locally and to much search no such luck...... I didn't know if anyone here had any of the same problems I feel like I am the only one I just miss my husband so much when we are apart and I am sick of having tons of admits and not sure of what I am doing 100% (I think this is a new grad problem not being 100% confident) I need day shift I think and less patients. I have long time contemplated ICU step down I did an internship there and enjoyed it, but there aren't any day shift jobs or job period there right now. I keep telling myself it is temporary and I can do anything for a little bit, I just want in NP school so bad that is what I really want to do, I am going to continue working through school so I may have to do school part time or work part time depending.

Has anyone else had the problem of separation anxiety of leaving their husband/spouse ? Feeling overwhelmed? Also any tips for NP school would be much appreciated and/or schools that you recommend that are online/blended or strictly online I could do on campus as well but it would need to be in or near a state around me which would be east TN, NC, or VA I have a good GPA 3.66 (I think it is good anyways). I am at just such a loss this can not be normal to cry every night before work..... I am not sure if I can last beyond 6 months at this....... 6 months is what is pretty much required at my place of employment.

Well, the part of your post asking if it's normal to have anxiety when one is working as a new nurse, trying to get used to the unit and get used to having a patient load all to oneself....THAT is normal.

The part asking about "separation anxiety" on the part of an adult because he/she can't see the spouse every minute of the day...or at least not during working hours....is NOT NORMAL.

I can tell you that it's far too early to see how you will turn out in the end regarding the unit you are on, and the workload that comes with it. But I can also tell you that if you have ANY aspirations of becoming an NP, you can expect to spend time away from your husband for classes, clinicals, and yes, employment. I don't happen to know any NPs who work in the private sector who don't put in lots of time/overtime/into the evening kind of time.

Honestly, I'd say you'd have to take a good hard look at why you cry when you aren't with your husband, and even cry because you are ABOUT to go to work (away from him). I'm sorry, but this is just not normal, and obviously not healthy. Please talk to a professional mental health counselor about this, as I think (just based on what you said here) it'd be a DARNED good idea.

Good luck to you!

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

I am currently applying for NP school since really the reason I came into the nursing profession was so I could obtain my FNP degree and work in a Dr office and have more one on one time with patients and of course have better hours sometimes.

I'm thinking it isn't all about the night shift and in my experience days have always been busier so I'm pretty sure that isn't going to answer all your complaints.

BTW when you find that NP job in a Drs office with so much extra time with your patients please let us know where it is so we can apply too! My friends who are working as FNPs have patients scheduled back to back every 10-15 minutes. I'm luckier in psych to have 20 minute med checks but trust me I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off most days with the burden of trying to accurately diagnose and not kill someone with the medications I'm sending them out on that they never take as prescribed.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

Crying every day because you don't want to leave your spouse has me scratching my head. Even if you were working a M-F day job you would have to leave him to go to work. I suspect your anxiety and unhappiness with your job is making you overly emotional about other things.

Regarding crying about your spouse, time to pull up your big girl panties and accept this is a temporary pathway to get you where you really want to be. Also known as "I signed up for this". If you can't do that, you need to find another job or see your physician to see what can be done to help you adjust.

The new grad stuff is super normal. I hated night shift too and got off it at my first opportunity, which was 4.5 months in. Day shift was just a different ball of yarn with far more stress, but far more sleep, which helped mitigate the stress. I cried at work maybe twice. If you are doing it daily, you need to talk to your physician because you aren't adjusting well. Is this your first ever job? I have to ask. So many young (my own included) seem to have a hard time adjusting to having to do things they don't particularly want to do. You may need some help getting up to speed in the coping department.

FNP will still have some night duties, as you will be on call. You won't have more time with the patients due to modern day compensation making it impossible to turn a profit without smushing people into the appointment slots upways, downways and sideways. Every job is going to have SOMETHING you dislike. Repeat that to yourself daily. Maybe even several times a day. There is no such thing as a perfect job.

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

You sound like you have issues with anxiety. I would seek counseling and find an outlet, like working out or a hobby you love.

If it becomes debilitating, you need to look at what you can do to change it and maybe reconsider being a nurse.

Being an FNP you will work VERY HARD------numerous appointments back to back, like said. And the paperwork? Mountainous.

It's true, the grass is not always greener and all that.

Maybe shadow FNPs a while to get a good idea. And for now, accept you have to walk this path to your ultimate goal.

The best FNPs have several years' nursing experience before going on for school.

Again, consider counseling. And breathe. Best wishes.

Atl-Murse

Has 1 years experience.

I think there is deeper issue going on here

Wrangler156

Specializes in PACU, Oncology/hospice. Has 2 years experience.

A few comments here are making me feel attacked to be completely honest, then a few are helpful as well. Yes this is my first " actual" job I had an internship and externship while in nursing school that lasted about 7 months prior to accepting my first RN job, I really enjoyed it, it was day shift and weekends as well I wasn't thrilled about weekends but I was OK with it because I got to come home to my husband at night and cook dinner together, etc.

I think I may of lead people on the wrong direction when I made the statement about NPs, I am aware I will have 15-20min with each pt, etc in an office, but I have shadowed multiple NPs during my nursing school career and I absolutely LOVED my NP days in busy offices vs my RN clinical days on the floor. I think I am having a hard time with this job because I am away in the evening and yes I sleep during the day, but I am always exhausted and then still exhausted for 2 days after I get off work then I have 1 day then I am back to work again. My intern and externship was 12hr days 3 days/week plus I was in school running every which direction for clinicals and every thing else, but in the past I have thrived on a busy schedule just apparently not so much in the hospital. I do good with paperwork always have, I have always said NP is where I am meant to be, but this floor is killing me, 6 and 7 pts (tonight I will have 5 thank goodness which I am still eh with but whatever). I am currently looking at new jobs that are day shift and critical care/acute care/ step down since I need critical/acute care experience. I am going to go speak to my manager next week to address my issues and see if she will allow me to leave early if I were to get the day shift position. day shift I am a lot better emotionally/mentally than night shift I have always been prone to depression and anxiety I had not ever worked night shift until these past 4 months and quite honestly I will be good if I can make it to the 6 month mark.

Reading your post, I can relate, I am a new nurse (3months) working night shift at a hospital with tendency to be understaffed. The struggle is real. At those times when I feel like I just can't continue, deep soul searching has been in order. My goal is to obtain 1-2 years of Med-Surg experience, so I need to make it happen. Having the mind set that it is only a passing experience that will lead to my dream job years down the road helps. But how can I make sure that my care meets standards for all 7 patients? This is an ever-evolving task that I continue to form only with a positive and future-focused attitude. Self-sacrifice is necessary. Even the sacrifice of time from my family. Even when I am off from work, I have a work hangover, which means my kids will be watching TV while I nap. It's pretty sad. However, down the line, our future will be extraordinary. I do expect that things will get easier 3-6 months as I become quicker at anticipating patient needs and develop my therapeutic skills.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

Five at night is pretty cushy. Most med/surg or tele/stepdown jobs are around 6-7 at night.

Who do you see taking your patients if you get to leave early on day shift? How do you envision that working and how do you envision your relationship with your coworkers if your manager were to let this happen (she or he won't/can't)?

I think your expectations are playing a part in your unhappiness. Nobody is attacking you. You sound like you need more help than this board can provide.

Calinurse4

Specializes in Perinatal. Has 3 years experience.

I can relate to what you're saying. I also have had many nights I cried having to go to work. People can think it's crazy and I need professional help (?) but after spending 18 years of my life sleeping next to my husband every night, that's a tough connection to lose. We have been together over 20 years and this has been the most difficult, trying time for our relationship. I hated leaving my husband and children while they were all getting ready for bed. They were gone at work/school all day, then I was trying to nap before work, so I wasn't seeing them much and it was difficult. I have been on night shift for a year and a half and I have reached my limit. I have just started a new job on day shift. I hope you get to "pay your dues" quickly and move to a different shift. Everyone and every relationship is different; I'm glad NOC works for some but it didn't work well for my family and me.

calivianya, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

I don't think anyone's attacking you. There is no harm in getting help if you need it, and it sounds like you need some help. I made an emergency primary care visit once because I was struggling with some life things and I had a total ugly sobbing breakdown in the office when I got there. I am always envious of the people who can be pretty when they cry because my face swells up and my pale complexion goes tomato-colored around my eyes. I couldn't believe how helpful and kind my physician was. I bet he was surprised when he walked into the room because I had always been very put-together and professional up until that point.

I ended up leaving the office with a short-term, extremely low dose of antidepressants because he and I both agreed it was situational and I just maybe needed a little help getting through the rough patch. I took ONE pill and knew instantly it wasn't for me. The side effects were so terrible that I sort of came to myself and sucked it up because I decided that nothing in the entire world could be as horrible as taking that one pill. It was Effexor, if anyone is curious, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I got my life back on track after that and I am very happy now.

If you are really struggling, there is no shame in asking for help. It sounds like you are really struggling. At least go and talk to someone - you might be surprised at how good it feels to talk to a professional.

BrandonLPN, LPN

Has 5 years experience.

If night shift and separation anxiety are causing you this much anxiety maybe you should look into finding a job as an RN in a doctor's office. The M-F, 9-5, no holidays and all that should be more in line with the rest of the world's schedule.

No, you won't get the acute care experience you say you want. And there would likely be a substantial pay cut compared to whatever you're making now. These are the trade-offs for getting desirable hours and for getting a relatively more "normal" office environment.

For every decision we make, there's consequences and trade-offs, unless one is very lucky, or has very good connections. Most of the NPs you know put in time as floor nurses in one sense or another because, really, who would want to hire a NP without some practical experience.

Maybe you can work as a floor nurse on a very part-time basis while trying to work on.... whatever the requirements for NP school are (I honestly have no idea what that process is). If your husband can support you, I see that as being your least stressful option.

firstinfamily, RN

Has 33 years experience.

I am just guessing, but it almost sounds like you have not been married for very long. Working night shift takes a toll on any relationship. My husband and I have been married for 30 years, and I have worked various shifts. The best shift for me was 3-11, but that did not work for him or my family. When the hospitals went to 12 hour shifts it screwed up most of us!! Working three 12 hour shifts does give one more days off but at what price??? I think anyone who works 12 hour days is pretty exhausted after working them and most likely does not do a whole heck of a lot their first day off. With night shift, getting your body clock (circadium rhythm) to turn around is difficult and sometimes detrimental to your body. I only work 12 hour nights weekends, my shifts are on Saturday, Sunday. I usually try to wean myself during the week so that by Friday night I am staying up all night and sleep on Saturday during the day to help prepare me for the night shift I am about to work. Sunday I go to bed after work and sleep most of the day, work that night, and when coming home on Monday eat breakfast and go to bed, sleep most of the day. It is very hard to rotate your body from night to days, so I really do not become fully functional until Wednesday during the day and by then it is about time to turn my clock around again for Friday preparing for Saturday night!!! I think your anxiety is related to some of the reality shock of being a new nurse but some of it may also be from sleep deprivation and not having contact time with your husband. When you talk to your manager, you could ask that your scheduled shifts be scheduled together, verses one on, one off, one on etc; so your body is not going all whacky. Day shift positions are usually very difficult to get, there is usually a waiting list for them. Wanting to become a NP is a great goal, but most of us can reassure you that it is not an easy path to follow. Most NPs take some on-call, they work very long hours, they do not have as much time with patients as you would think they do, and there are still some reimbursement issues. You are going to have to go through the steps of improving your skills and accountability before you can become a NP. Are your goals realistic?? Also, remember there is a reason why critical care nurses take less patients, because they are more sick!!! There are usually more procedures, testing, documentation being done on the more critical patients. It does not necessarily mean the load on nursing is any easier!!! Perhaps you and your hubby can have a nice sit down and discuss ways you can have time together. With having more nights off(working 3-12 hour shifts) gives you 4 nights off----so what do you two do with those nights---go out, have some fun, have a date night etc. Spend those nights doing something special together. You have to grab the time together when you can. If you are having trust issues there are other problems. A counselor would most likely help, see how your husband feels about both of you seeing one----usually employers offer some psych counseling with limited visits free of charge. Nursing is a very demanding field---it takes a little from all of us; it gives also, but it is not always a balanced equation. Good luck!!! I am glad I am on night shift because I do have the extra time to spend with patients, something that I never had on day shift!!!

I understand what you are saying completely. I graduated with my RN last summer but was working as a LPN PRN for about a year before that and I work the night shift. First of all, I think nursing just isn't for me, but working night shift has made it even worse. My boyfriend and I are expecting our first child together and I have a 6 year old daughter from a previous relationship. Like your husband, my boyfriend works days and we have different days off, so I never get to see him. I hardly get to see my daughter either. Since I'm the new nurse at my small town's hospital, I get the pleasure of working the weekend graveyards and will probably be stuck working that shift until one of the seasoned nurses decides to retire (which all of them are still far from retiring.) I hate it. My days off, my daughter is in school and my boyfriend is at work. Then on their days off from school and work, I have to sleep to be ready for my night shift. Its just plain depressing. Since I live in a small town there aren't really any options for employment other then the hospital where I work. I'm tired of not having a normal life and yes I too have cried multiple times because of job. I think I have a very good idea of how you are feeling and I just want you to know you aren't alone. I'm right here with you.

BellionRN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 7 years experience.

I agree with whoever mentioned your despair re: your job and night shift is likely making you more emotional about other things, such as leaving your husband.

Night shift didn't agree with me ... I couldn't sleep during the day and it took me 2.5 days to recover from my two nights (I did two 12hr days, two 12hr nights and then had 5 days off), so I was constantly exhausted and felt similarly to having the flu. I was a mess! I could truck through the two nights but on my days off I was just a mess. Night shift isn't for everyone, that's for sure.

That being said, I had a couple nursing jobs that I disliked so much it affected every other aspect of my life. I was not myself, miserable, unhappy, didn't have any energy to do anything ... It took over my whole life. When my husband was home and I had to work nights (he is a trucker and away a lot so with our two crappy schedules it was rare to see each other), I would just hate to leave. It didn't seem as bad as leaving for my day shifts ... And I'm not sure what it is but I like to be home at night so I would sometimes get emotional leaving for work at night, even when he wasn't home.

You likely have so much stress and anxiety re: work (new grad stress, disliking night shift, work environment, etc.) that you don't want to go, so of course you'd get emotional when leaving. You want to be with your greatest source of support and someone who can comfort you and that makes you feel better when you're with that person.

If that sounds kind of like it could make sense, maybe check with your employer to see if there is an Employee Assistance Program that covers short term counseling. Another thing to keep in mind, and I say this from experience, is sometimes what you think is stressing you out isn't, or you're more stressed about something than you initially thought (I am the queen of compartmentalizing!). Talking it through with someone (third party) can be very helpful. Also, get back to doing something you love if you have recently stopped because you're too busy or tired!

I hope you find some relief.

cardiacfreak, ADN

Specializes in Hospice.

Night shift step down is not a piece of cake, I have been doing it for 16 years! We have 5 patients with high acuity illnesses. Last night I had a non-hemorrhagic stroke that was evolving, a hemorrhagic CVA, a glucostabilizer, a post-op day 2 CABG with 3 chest tubes on a temporary pacemaker, and a gi bleed with hgb of 5.9 receiving blood. Did I mention my CABG was isolation for MRSA? And I was charge!

Are you sleeping well during the day? This may be part of your problem.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

I am a new grad RN, graduated in December, passed NCLEX in Feb 1st try 75 questions (so happy I did that I was a nervous wreck!) Started my job as an RN that week after the license came through I was already working as an intern. I thought oh night shift it won't be that bad, etc............ I WAS WRONG VERY VERY WRONG. I am married no kids though thankfully, my husband works day shift at his job. I barely see him on the nights I go in we meet up at a store or something and I see him for 10-15 min before I go in since by the time he would get home I would of already left for work, I cry every time I have to leave him and here lately I have been crying privately at work. I do better if I am with my husband all day prior to going in but that can't always happen if it is like today a Monday and he is at work and I am here waiting for 5pm crying so I can leave and go see him for 10 min before I go into work. I feel pathetic, my work environment has gotten worse we are almost always short sometimes leaving me with 6 or 7 patients which I can not adequately take care of ( I mean they are taken care of but I feel like I am constantly forgetting something or not providing the best care for), corporate is on our butts about freaking everything, I am currently applying for NP school since really the reason I came into the nursing profession was so I could obtain my FNP degree and work in a Dr office and have more one on one time with patients and of course have better hours sometimes. I have to give a shout out to all you floor nurses out there who do handle it and all you night shift nurses who handle it, you are better than me ! I have looked and looked for day shift jobs locally and to much search no such luck...... I didn't know if anyone here had any of the same problems I feel like I am the only one I just miss my husband so much when we are apart and I am sick of having tons of admits and not sure of what I am doing 100% (I think this is a new grad problem not being 100% confident) I need day shift I think and less patients. I have long time contemplated ICU step down I did an internship there and enjoyed it, but there aren't any day shift jobs or job period there right now. I keep telling myself it is temporary and I can do anything for a little bit, I just want in NP school so bad that is what I really want to do, I am going to continue working through school so I may have to do school part time or work part time depending.

Has anyone else had the problem of separation anxiety of leaving their husband/spouse ? Feeling overwhelmed? Also any tips for NP school would be much appreciated and/or schools that you recommend that are online/blended or strictly online I could do on campus as well but it would need to be in or near a state around me which would be east TN, NC, or VA I have a good GPA 3.66 (I think it is good anyways). I am at just such a loss this can not be normal to cry every night before work..... I am not sure if I can last beyond 6 months at this....... 6 months is what is pretty much required at my place of employment.

Being this attached to your husband is neither normal nor healthy. How does HE feel about this clinginess?

Feeling stressed and overwhelmed as a new graduate nurse is normal. Crying before, during and after work isn't abnormal. Difficulty adjusting to nights is normal, and there are a lot of threads on this forum with advice on that. Do a search on "night shift", and you'll find a lot of help.

Changing jobs is not the answer -- you're just adding new co-workers, no procedures, new policies, new patient population, new locations for all the supplies and equipment you need and new boss to the mix. If you're already overwhelmed to the point that you're crying most of the time, changing jobs is only going to make things worse. It sounds to me as if you have some mental health issues you need to address. Please check into seeing a mental health professional, possibly getting some medication to help with your depression and/or anxiety and getting your own health under control.

When you have your health under control and have learned to be competent in your current job, then you can look into changing jobs. Understand, though, that NPs sometimes have lousy hours and don't get to spend all day with their spouses. You're going to have to learn to stand on your own two feet.

Good luck!

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

A few comments here are making me feel attacked to be completely honest, then a few are helpful as well. Yes this is my first " actual" job I had an internship and externship while in nursing school that lasted about 7 months prior to accepting my first RN job, I really enjoyed it, it was day shift and weekends as well I wasn't thrilled about weekends but I was OK with it because I got to come home to my husband at night and cook dinner together, etc.

I think I may of lead people on the wrong direction when I made the statement about NPs, I am aware I will have 15-20min with each pt, etc in an office, but I have shadowed multiple NPs during my nursing school career and I absolutely LOVED my NP days in busy offices vs my RN clinical days on the floor. I think I am having a hard time with this job because I am away in the evening and yes I sleep during the day, but I am always exhausted and then still exhausted for 2 days after I get off work then I have 1 day then I am back to work again. My intern and externship was 12hr days 3 days/week plus I was in school running every which direction for clinicals and every thing else, but in the past I have thrived on a busy schedule just apparently not so much in the hospital. I do good with paperwork always have, I have always said NP is where I am meant to be, but this floor is killing me, 6 and 7 pts (tonight I will have 5 thank goodness which I am still eh with but whatever). I am currently looking at new jobs that are day shift and critical care/acute care/ step down since I need critical/acute care experience. I am going to go speak to my manager next week to address my issues and see if she will allow me to leave early if I were to get the day shift position. day shift I am a lot better emotionally/mentally than night shift I have always been prone to depression and anxiety I had not ever worked night shift until these past 4 months and quite honestly I will be good if I can make it to the 6 month mark.

No one attacked you. I've seen some good suggestions.

I don't think day shift or a more acute patient population are the answers you're looking for. I think you need to get your health under control.