I could use some pros and cons advice....

Specialties Geriatric


I am wondering from your experience working in LTC, or by observing others, if you think it is better for a new grad to start on the day shift or the night shift? What are the pros and cons of each?The basic idea I've gotten from fellow friends, is that day shift you are super busy, on your feet, running around, fast past.... and that nights are a bit slower, you may oversee more patients, but you can learn procedures a bit easier and pass meds a bit easier.I want to have a good idea of what I think I would like, because I'll be setting up an interview at a LTC place I'd really like to work. I would say something that is important to me is the stress levels on each shift. Yes, they're probably both high stress... but is one even more than the other?As a newbie I'm feeling rather lost.... :/

The big disadvantage to starting as a new nurse on nocs is that you are more often than not on you own.

Are you comfortable assessing a declining pt who needs to be shipped out?

Are you comfortable being "the"


Aside from that, nights are usually easier and slower than days. I used to work 11-7 and I found if I hustled I could get all my paperwork and "busy work" (chart checks, daily census, bowel care log, med reorder, etc) done by 12 or 1230.

There shouldn't be many tx on nights. The facilities that schedule routine dressing changes on 11-7 are not quality facilities. These people live here, and deserve to sleep all night unless it's a matter of life and death.

In the morning you'll have a small med pass and a ton of fasting glucoscans. At the end of the month you'll have changeover. But yeah, most nights you shoyld have a decent chunk of downtime.

When I worked nights I helped the CNAs a lot. I usually did one or two get ups for them in the morning.

Best of all, on nights you don't have to deal with management!

I woudnt say you learn *less* on nocs, you just learn *different* skills.

Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health.

In wouldn't recommend a new grad start on nights. If you want to learn time management, IV skills, treatments, dealing with docs and all the other important things...you have to start on days. You might be the only nurse around at night and then what'll you do?

There shouldn't be meds given on 11-7 unless PRN pain meds. People need to sleep.

Start out on days....not all management is hard to deal with!!:coollook:

That's a good point you two made about being "on your own" at night.... This is helping me think things through!!

I started out as a new nurse at a LTC center working 2-10pm. After 5 all administration, including DON, ADON, etc was gone. I felt pretty confident in my nursing knowledge and skills to be there by myself, but I will admit, the first time I had a resident start declining pretty fast, needing to be sent out, and the first time I had a resident pass away, I was wishing someone was there to help me! For some reason, most of our residents seem to pass away on the 2-10pm or the 10pm-6am shift. And don't forget in LTC there are a lot of residents with Alzheimer's/dementia who tend to sundown late in the evenings! I think you should start on days until you can get a routine down and learn the ropes!

Well I'm excited because this position is for full time afternoons! Woo!!!

Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health.

I think that on 7a-3p, you would learn more. 3p-11p as well.

For less stress, 11p-7a is the place to be. It's where I'm going.

I can't handle 7-3, plain and simple.

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