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Need advice! Working 3rd shift


Specializes in Geriatrics.

Hey everyone,

I could use some advice, especially from anyone who has experience with working 3rd shift.

I'm currently going to school full-time for my LPN, and I work as a CNA. I used to work 2nd shift, but I will now be switching to 3rd shift (by choice). I will only be working 2 nights a week and every other weekend. My question is, should I be switching back to my regular sleep schedule on my 3 nights off? Or should I try to stay up all night on my nights off? My school schedule this semester is: Mondays- 8-3pm lecture, Tuesdays- 8-11am lab, Wendesdays- 7a-1p clinical, Thursdays 8-12pm lecture, and Fridays off.

I'm a little nervous for this... I'm a night owl, but I've never actually worked a full 11-7 shift before.. I've only worked until 3am and had no problem with it.

Any advice/thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks!

I work 11pm to 7am Monday through Friday, and I have the weekends off so I stay up all day on Saturday and go to bed early that night. Then get up Sunday spend the day and go to bed like normal on Sunday evening. Monday is my hardest day to figure out but I try to sleep as long as I can till like noon (try to) then go back to bed around 6pm until 10pm when I need to be getting myself off to work again. I hope this helps. You will figure out a routine for yourself soon enough I am sure :) Good Luck on your LPN!


Specializes in geriatrics, dementia, ortho. Has 2 years experience.

I work 3rd shift right now, and I try to sleep "normally" at night when I'm off. My facility has 4 on/4 off rotation, so that gives me enough time to shift back and forth. My biggest tip is don't work overnight and then expect to do anything very well the next day unless you can sleep for 4-5 hours beforehand. I've had days where I left my overnight job, slept an hour, and went to my next job, and it's just not a good idea.

Also, try a white noise machine to help you sleep during the day, and blackout curtains. Those things are life savers for me since I can hear my neighbors otherwise! :)

I worked 12-hour night shifts on Friday and Saturday nights all through my LPN program (which was Mon-Fri). I would have 1/2 a day of class on Friday, go home, take a nap, work Friday night, sleep sat, work sat night, and then take a short nap on Sunday, sleeping from maybe 7am until noon. Then I would get up and try to stay busy with homework, housework, or something that would keep me awake. Then I would go to sleep Sunday night and be able to go to school on Monday morning. It was VERY HARD but I was able to keep my job (and health insurance) through school. Good luck to you!

I keep my schedule the same. If you do decide to flip schedule back and forth. I agree that a two hour nap before work tricks your body into thinking you have kept normal schedule.