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Night shift new nurses-day shift classes

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DrwngRN DrwngRN (New) New Nurse

Specializes in New nurse. Has 2 years experience.

Hello everyone.

New nurse here 6 months into my journey, I like my hospital thus far and my coworkers. But my one bugaboo, as a new nurse we have a general nurse residency program that covers all specialities. So it’s not unit specific. Some topics that are included are new nurse support and self care. However, Myself and a few other nurses are on night shift but are required to attend these day shift classes, during our normal sleep hours. Our schedules are flexed so we don’t work the night before or after the class. But still who can flip flop their sleep schedule like that?

My first issue with this is self care. We are tired, we can’t focus during these classes, it is interrupting our sleep, if we are tired can we provide the best patient care, no. And my second issue is support, they focus that this program is to support us new nurses. But they won’t change the residency classes to be more accommodating. So what are they supporting? The fact that they can say they have a nurse residency program.

They said our employment is contingent upon completing the program. But none of us can remember ever hearing this in our interviews or application process nor did we sign anything.

I like my hospital I do, my coworkers are great all supportive of new nurses. But this program to me doesn’t benefit new nurses. It only benefits the hospital being able to say we have a nurse residency program.

anyways. Rant over. Any advice? I don’t want to find a new place to work. But I also don’t want to work in an unsafe manner.

How often are the classes and how many more of them do you have to make it through?

8 minutes ago, DrwngRN said:

My first issue with this is self care. We are tired, we can’t focus during these classes, it is interrupting our sleep, if we are tired can we provide the best patient care, no. And my second issue is support, they focus that this program is to support us new nurses. But they won’t change the residency classes to be more accommodating. So what are they supporting? The fact that they can say they have a nurse residency program.

I agree with you; lack of practical consideration for the issue of night shift schedules has been the case seemingly always.

But...you're not going to get anywhere with any of what I've quoted above. If your idea is to point out the incongruity (I'd say irony but it isn't too amusing) in hopes that they will set up different accommodations, it isn't going to happen. Other accommodations are possible and always have been. They have not chosen to enact them.

You have two main choices: 1) Get through it (without bellyaching and getting yourself labeled as a complainer) or, 2) if you tend to be intolerant of this type of incongruity, either get over that or else find a place where there might be less of it.

You probably want to just get through this since you enjoy your position and your coworkers.

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

4 hours ago, DrwngRN said:

Hello everyone.

New nurse here 6 months into my journey, I like my hospital thus far and my coworkers. But my one bugaboo, as a new nurse we have a general nurse residency program that covers all specialities. So it’s not unit specific. Some topics that are included are new nurse support and self care. However, Myself and a few other nurses are on night shift but are required to attend these day shift classes, during our normal sleep hours. Our schedules are flexed so we don’t work the night before or after the class. But still who can flip flop their sleep schedule like that?

My first issue with this is self care. We are tired, we can’t focus during these classes, it is interrupting our sleep, if we are tired can we provide the best patient care, no. And my second issue is support, they focus that this program is to support us new nurses. But they won’t change the residency classes to be more accommodating. So what are they supporting? The fact that they can say they have a nurse residency program.

They said our employment is contingent upon completing the program. But none of us can remember ever hearing this in our interviews or application process nor did we sign anything.

I like my hospital I do, my coworkers are great all supportive of new nurses. But this program to me doesn’t benefit new nurses. It only benefits the hospital being able to say we have a nurse residency program.

anyways. Rant over. Any advice? I don’t want to find a new place to work. But I also don’t want to work in an unsafe manner.

I have always worked nights, and I've never had classroom orientation on nights. Floor orientation has always started on days for me, as well.

The reasons are probably practical. Managers and HR work during the day. It's more efficient to teach everyone as a group than to divide them into two groups. Shift differentials are not an issue. Etc.

This is not something I would make waves about as a new graduate. It's common practice, and there's a super-high chance that you'd find yourself in a similar situation if you did leave for a different job.

scribblz, BSN, CNA, LPN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, Geriatrics, home infusion. Has 14 years experience.

Yup, what they said. It sucks, makes no sense and just put up with it. Worked night shift for 15 years, and while you come up with different techniques to swap your sleep schedule it will never not be a challenge. You either develop a dark humor tolerance of it or eventually swap off of it. Healthcare culture is day oriented. They get the food, the attention etc. We get the shift diff and bring in our own food and enjoy the non attention. Honestly, it works for me, but not for plenty of others. Sounds like you're in a good place for the most part. I would be cautious to leave a good place because of illogical class timing. It has been my experience that will be a commonplace in the majority of places across one's nursing career.

Best of luck to you!

You will not find an employer that will train you at night so you need to deal with this. It won’t last forever.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

You don't have to work the night before or the night after the training classes? That's pretty generous. I've worked in places where no consideration was given to night-shift nurses in the scheduling of classes/inservices---you showed up and then worked your shift, or you got written up.

Be grateful for what you have. And as caliotter said, it's an inevitable fact of life for the night-shift worker. All your inservices and competencies will be held during the day. So will staff meetings, unless your manager is kind and holds them at change of shift.

Wishing you the very best. Viva

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

A lot of people work rotating shifts in their job regularly. It's not good or healthy, it just is. Your employer's changing your shifts to accommodate the classes is beyond what some employers do. Grin and bear it, it'll be over soon enough...

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I agree with the others. To be successful (and happy) as a night shift employee, you need to learn to flip occasionally to a day shift for a class or meeting. Most of the world works days instead of nights and that's just part of night shift work. That is part of the reason you are paid more than the nurses who work the day shift: the extra pay is meant to compensate you for the inconvenience of working night shift (and sacrificing your body a bit.)

You will have the night shift off before the class days. Figure out a schedule that will work best for you. For me -- assuming class is a Thursday -- that would be:

1. Work Tuesday night

2. Get home Wednesday morning and go to sleep at my normal time -- but don't sleep as long as I normally would. I would get up early so that I would be tired at night.

3. Stay up late Wednesday night to help maintain you "night owl" circadian rhythm, but go to bed eventually. Having not slept the whole day on Wednesday, I would be tired enough to sleep some during the middle of Wednesday night.

4. Get up Thursday morning and go to class reasonable rested because you slept some the previous day and night.

5. You'll have Thursday night off -- so treat that as you would any night off and get back on your night schedule so that you can go to work Friday night. Take a nap during the day on Friday.

Night shift workers have been figuring out such schedules for as long as there have been night shift workers. Sometimes, you just have to be awake during the day for meetings, classes, doctor's appointments, important family events, child care, etc. Once you accept that and figure out a plan that works for you, you will be as fine as any other night shift worker.

Swellz

Specializes in oncology, MS/tele/stepdown. Has 6 years experience.

My first job was two 12's and two 8's rotating days and nights. When I tell you I know what you are going through, believe me.

I have to echo others - this cannot be a new complaint that they've received. You can absolutely contact whoever is in charge of this program and plead your case; if you get nowhere with that, explain to your manager that this is a condition of your employment and see if you can be on dayshift the weeks you have to participate in these classes. Or if you can move your shifts around so you have a more than the night before and night after off. Alternatively, if you don't have to do this that often, I would just live with it. It sucks, but if you have to do it to keep your job, you're stuck.

HiddencatBSN, BSN

Specializes in Peds ED. Has 10 years experience.

18 hours ago, DrwngRN said:

But still who can flip flop their sleep schedule like that?

Nearly everyone who works nights, I’d wager. I’ve never kept a night schedule on my days off: I have kids, there are appointments, errands to run, things to do, etc that happen during the day. It sucks and it’s hard but that’s night shift.

I just took ACLS- the renewal class was from 8am-11am and I worked the night before. It sucked. But I was overdue because of covid cancellations and this was when it was offered.

To flip back to a day schedule I try to fall asleep immediately when I get home, and wake up around 2-3pm, and then try to go to bed again around 10p-12a.

Audacioustank

Specializes in Tele. Has 2 years experience.

Unfortunately most hospitals will do this and it sucks! I just completed my new grad program and we had a few instances of having 7 am class one day then 7 pm shifts the next day. Their rationalization was "you have all evening and the whole next day to catch up on sleep." As a healthcare organization you'd think they would know the human body doesn't work like that. But unfortunately HR does not care. Do your best to sleep well for now, and know that this is temporary! Try melatonin if it helps.