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New Grad Nurse - NIGHT SHIFT ONLY

Nurses   (1,036 Views | 13 Replies)
by mjm0427 mjm0427 (New) New

311 Profile Views; 5 Posts

I’m a new grad nurse that was just offered a residency position at a hospital where new grads only get night shift. Makes me nervous since I’ve only done a few night shifts during my preceptorship. How do y’all feel about only working night shifts?? Do you get used to it? Any tricks or tips? 

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HelicopterMom is a BSN and specializes in Flight RN, SICU, Trauma Resus.

24 Posts; 188 Profile Views

I have no "tricks or tips", you will find out what works for you.  Some people do all their shifts in a row... some people don't.  It's all preference.  Some people completely "switch" their life to "night shift mode".  I could never do that, I liked being a "normal" human and being awake during the days on my time off.  I did nights for 8 years and never really found what worked for me.  Once I got off nights, my life drastically improved.  It's difficult but some people love it... you may end up liking it, who knows.

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yournurse has 2 years experience.

128 Posts; 2,750 Profile Views

Night shift is the best time to learn. Focus on managing your time and getting used to routine, documentation and giving meds!

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107 Posts; 1,821 Profile Views

I'm a new grad, and I love night shift.  I like to do 2 in a row, then off a few days, then 2 more, etc..

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3 Followers; 37,066 Posts; 98,509 Profile Views

14 hours ago, yournurse said:

Night shift is the best time to learn. Focus on managing your time and getting used to routine, documentation and giving meds!

I found this to be true.

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"nursy" has 40 years experience as a RN and specializes in ICU, ER, Home Health, Corrections, School Nurse.

198 Posts; 808 Profile Views

I did night shift and loved it. (full disclosure: I was A LOT younger).   There's a great commaraderie amongst night shift workers.   And the pace makes it easier to learn.  And much less family members around which is a HUGE BLESSING.    Some people accomodate beautifully, some never do well,.  You won't know until you try.  I pretty much stayed on night shift mode most of the time with minor adjustments.   On my days off I spent a lot of the night watching TV until 3-4 in the morning then slept late.  

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OUxPhys has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Cardiology.

796 Posts; 9,429 Profile Views

It's intimidating but its the best time to learn. Its pretty much you and your co-workers, the RR team, and the residents. That's it. I loved working night shift. If I could sleep during the day I probably would still be on night shift. There is a stronger bond among nightshift workers than there is with dayshift. You also dont have to deal with families, which is nice depending the situation. There is also less management around which is always a plus. 

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Serhilda is a ADN, RN and specializes in Cardiac telemetry.

225 Posts; 4,861 Profile Views

I agree with all of the above with one exception. Do not underestimate how hard working nights can be on your body and your personal life. There will be many nights you go without seeing your significant other (if you have one), without sleeping beside them, and sleep deprivation will be a much more common occurrence than any day shifter will experience. The benefits to your work life are taken from your personal life essentially. 

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AlwaysLearning247 has 4 years experience as a BSN.

1 Follower; 372 Posts; 6,498 Profile Views

When I was a brand new nurse I did night. At the time, I loved it. I did 7p-7a. The biggest thing is trying to stay on the same schedule on your off nights. Your body does adjust to it eventually.

It is important to not try to be on a day schedule after working nights. You need to sleep. Before your first night shift I usually stay up as late as I can (3-4AM) and sleep until 1-2PM. You can also go to bed at a normal hour, sleep late, then take a 1-2 hour nap before your shift. Coming off of nights is easier to sleep. Get blackout curtains, a sleep mask, don’t drink caffeine late in your shift, etc. If your body doesn’t adjust, keep applying to get a day job because your health is important. The worst is rotating shifts. Good luck!

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Been there,done that has 33 years experience as a ASN, RN.

4 Followers; 6,241 Posts; 69,584 Profile Views

Adapting to night shift schedule is personal. Some people love it and can do it easily, some have a hard time with  the circadian rhythm change.

Looks like it's your only option right now. 

Wish you the best.

 

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Natalie513 has 1 years experience.

160 Posts; 3,911 Profile Views

Nights felt totally fine to me working a 12 hour shift. Honestly when I got off at 0630 it was still dark and I was so tired I fell right asleep. I put 3 in a row and when I got off after the last shift just napped for a few hours then went to bed at normal time that nights and thus was back on my regular schedule for the 4 days off. I do think 8s would be way harder. Working “only” nights is definitely the way to go, switching back and forth is hard. You want to get into a routine. Good luck!

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zipadeezoe has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Surgical ICU, Cardiac/Surgical Telemetry.

339 Posts; 7,163 Profile Views

I thought I could never work nights... then I started my new grad residency on a tele floor, and became so overwhelmed during my preceptorship on dayshift that by the time I was told there were only night shift positions available for my cohort, I was thrilled. By far the best way to start and learn as a new grad in my opinion. I lasted about a year before it became too hard for my body and went to dayshift. Had to go back to nights when I started in ICU, but again, great for learning. It's also nice to get to know everyone on night shift, then when you get to dayshift you feel like you're friends with everyone. At least that's been my experience (x2). A day shift position will open up. At my first job one opened up after about 6 months (I didn't take the first opening). At my ICU job I had to wait a year before getting on dayshift, but there's just no way to predict how long it will take anywhere. Night shift money is nice too. Good luck! 

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