Night Shift or Day Shift while in FNP program?


Hello APNs and current APN students!

I'd love your perspectives on working either night shift or day shift while attending school full-time.

I work two 12's a week and very much want to keep working this schedule throughout my program. My program is a DNP and clinicals don't start till year 2 and they build with the most hours per semester happening the final semester of the program. I am busy mom, but my youngest will be in college my last year in the program.

I am pretty adamant about working my two 12's as long as I can .... hopefully until gaining employment as a FNP. I love what I do and where I work and I can pay for my grad school.

My question is, would day or night shift be better? I know I'll probably work mostly weekend once clinicals start. I work nights now and enjoy it, but it's certainly unconventional for my 'farmer-type' self who naturally wakes with sun and gets sleepy with sun-down. But night shift is, I think, less stressful than days. The problem I can see would be not being able to do Monday clinical and would night shift become more exhausting once the stress and pressure of school is full-force?


373 Posts

Has 7 years experience.

Hey westcoast!

To me it's a matter of preference and what shifts works for you. I work 2 12's days and it works for me and my family I am able to study etc and sneak in some family time. When I worked nightsand I was always tired and felt hung over but keep in mind I am a mommy to 2 small kids and I have also been a night shifter for over 10yrs. Day shift is busy with all the admits and discharges etc. But night shift where I worked was always understaffed so it was a crazy shift for me... Grad school is a lot just make sure whatever shift u work that u are able to dedicate time to study...

All the best



128 Posts

Has 8 years experience.

I'm wondering the same thing and look forward to seeing the responses.


69 Posts

Specializes in ER.

It's doable while on night shift, as I know people who have done it, but when it comes time to do clinical hours, it's going to be far easier to do it while on dayshift, given most of your clinicals will be held during regular office hours. I'm about to start my final year this fall and I'm working mid-shift and I'm dreading it, since I get off around midnight.


36 Posts

I worked 2, 12-hour night shifts a week when I was in my FNP program. My schedule went like this... Monday, clinical 8-6. Tuesday, class 2-6:30. Wednesday, clinical 8-6. Thursday off for studying. Friday, work. Saturday, work. Sunday, family time. I found that working night shift allowed me more time for studying because it was slower pace, and I could do some studying at work. This worked out better for me so that I could spend my evenings off doing nothing but spending time with my family.