Need help with decision

Specialties Med-Surg


:confused: Hoping for lots of input on this one. I currently work on the medical floor at our local hospital which is doing the ''restructure" thing. I have a choice between two options;

1. stay where I am but switch to 12 hour nights

pros - $2.50 shift diff

12 hour shifts

cons - working nights


2. Continue working days on the medical care unit same

schedule as I have now

pros - its days

cons- moving to a new floor where I don't know anyone

learning to negotiate my way around a new area

So now you can see my dilemma please send

your input ASAP, thanks :)

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

Well I can only say nights and me do not agree. I wouldn't think it would take you long to get used to a new unit. Are they friendly on that unit? What floor would you be going to?


I would be moving from a brand new medical unit to an older unit one floor below I don't know if they are friendly or not.........I know that all the equipment is old and there are not very many windows..........


754 Posts

Specializes in Everything but psych!.

Paige, If you go to the other floor, would you be pushing out somebody else? Or is it a vacant position? If you would be pushing out someone else, don't go to the new floor. They would give you a cold shoulder. Go visit the floor. See if you can talk with some of the other nurses on the floor. If it is a different manager, talk with them a little also. Do you like the people who work night shift on your floor? Good luck on your decision! I had something like that happen to me years ago. It was not easy. I ended up leaving the hospital shortly thereafter. In fact, I moved away from the area, never to relocate back there again. Hope your outcome is better than mine was! :stone

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

I agree with the above post. I would check out the floor.


Specializes in Med-Surg.

I know what I would do! I'd go for the 12 hour nights! But to each his own--I wouldn't work 8 hour nights unless I absolutely had to.

I called my Nurse Manager and told her I would take the nights.........made her day. She said it was the best news she had gotten all day. Thanks for the input :)

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

Glad you came to a decision.



64 Posts

Heya, Paige!

Please take some unsolicited advice from me on working noc shifts. I have worked nocs for 2 years now, and I firmly believe these things:

1. Working nights is *not* for people with spouses or sig others who work days, and it is not for people with small children that need to be supervised during the day. You will make yourself miserable if you try to cut back on sleep, and you will not be doing your best at work or at home so why bother?

2. It is best for your diurnal rythym/circadian cycle (one of those!) if you try to keep to the same schedule on your off days. It is very hard to switch back and forth on your daily sleep/wake cycle and continue to function.

I prefer nocs. Usually, a 12 hour shift starts out very busy, but by 0100 hrs it has calmed down. There is much less "hubbub" from other departments, MDs, family, etc. The nursing care and documentation issues are the same, but at least you can usually find a place to sit down and chart and you aren't interrupted every 5 minutes by someone.

Nocs can be a very viable option, but it has to fit your lifestyle -- not the other way around. And take it from me, a 12 hour shift is grueling no matter days/nights. You will be working, getting ready for work, winding down from work and sleeping with no time for anything else on your work days. That said, I also prefer 12 hour shifts because they allow me to schedule myself with a lot of days off for travel and relaxation, vs. the usual daily grind and rush with a couple days off.

Best of luck to you, and remember -- in the words of Dave Attell of the "Insomniac" show -- "Get some sleep!"

Cmyst......thanks for the great info..........I don't have small kids mine are all grown and gone, hubby and i don't need too much time together.....we are past the needy stage

The info about keeping the same schedule on days off was something I hadn't thought about, thanks

I am actually looking forward to the change, days can be such a drag sometimes........................

Mimi2RN, ASN, RN

1,142 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

I have worked night for years, I don't keep the same schedule on my days off, but I do stay up later at night, sometimes go to bed after 1am. If I have something to do after work, and I'm not scheduled for the next night, I can stay up, maybe take an afternoon nap.

If you have a phone in your bedroom, turn the ringer off, make sure your family know that the best time to call is early am, or late afternoon. I keep my cell phone in my bedroom, only a few people use that number, and they know I sleep in the daytime, so that is for urgent calls.

Night shift has it's own stresses, but we don't have to deal with the mgmt

coming through very often, and visitors do eventually leave.

There are other threads with suggestions to help you sleep. Good luck!


11 Posts

I would personally avoid the night shift if you can; been there and done that, it's tough. The diff. was great but it wasn't worth what it did to my body [it turns the circadiane rhythm upside down], mind and spirit-never mind the family life; there is always going to be change, learn to embrace it.

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