new grad on nights


Well, I finally got my dream job- on the unit I wanted (traumatic brain injured) in the hospital I wanted (Level I Trauma, teaching hospital, serving the underserved and uninsured). As luck would have it, I am going to precept on nights and I have never worked that shift before. In fact, I am a DAY person! My manager wants me to "try it" for 6 months - and in this economic picture, looking for some other job is way out of the question. Anyone with any suggestions for me? How can I make this work? By the way, I am also a java junkie, so I guess that will have to change or I will never re-align my sleep habits.

Thanks all!


1,845 Posts

Specializes in Psych, LTC, Acute Care.

Hey! I am a new grad and just got a job on the neuroscience floor working 7p-7a at a level 1 Trauma Hospital. I have worked night on occassion as a fill in when someone called out and I was working 3-11. I had no problems staying away because I am not a morning person. I wish I could work 3-11 but that shift was not availible. I am not sure of what advice to give. But maybe schedule yourself two day on and 1 day off. Someone mentioned taking tylenol PM in the morning if your having problems getting to sleep. Its gonna take some time to figure out a pattern so don't freak out if you tired and sluggish in the beginning. You will figure it out. I hope that it works for you.


16 Posts

Specializes in Med surg.

Hi, I consider myself a new grad as I graduated last May and started working in September. I am a day/night rotator on a very busy general medical floor. I was so nervous when I worked my first few nights because all through school you hear about how there's not a lot of support at nights. I had the opportunity to come off of nights after six months (my manager originally told me a year) and I chose to continue to rotate. I have kids so the night shift gives me a little more flexibility. You may really like working nights, I'll list a few reasons:

  • I can always find a computer at night-during the day there is so much extra staff on the floor (case managers, social workers, attendings, etc) that you wander around looking for a computer to look stuff up and by the time you find one, either you forget what you're looking up or you're paged to a pt's room
  • I never have to do discharges at night (discharges can be a nightmare if there is a lot of coordinating to do)
  • You sometimes (not always) have time to look up your patient's disease, past medical history, hospital course, etc, giving you a clearer picture of what's going on and what you need to do for nursing care. This is really hard to do during the day
  • The night staff where I work have been there for a very long time and are an excellent wealth of knowledge. It's an excellent opportunity to pick the brain of some great nurses who often have the time to explain things.

I just wanted to throw these things out there. Since I rotate between days and nights (sometimes within the same week) my sleep schedule is really off so I think a consistent schedule of nights would be better for one's system. I'm not sure. Congratulations on your new job and best of luck.

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