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Normal to feel so exhausted as a new nurse??

I am out of orientation now and working 12 hour shifts. Does anyone else just feel physically and mentally exhausted after their shifts? Does this get better? I am wiped out on my days off and have to use them as recovery.


Specializes in ICU, Informatics.

You're not alone. I feel the same as well. It's said it should get better with time. I believe it will. So for now, my body is still adjusting.

I also suggest to do activities that are good for stress reduction and try your best to get adequate sleep on your work and off days. This approach is helping me to cope with the 12-hr shifts in addition to the mental and physical stresses associated with nursing itself.

groovy jeff, RN

Specializes in Telemetry & PCU.

I started on Oct 28th and found out very quickly that while I am in the brand-spanking-new-wet-behind-the-ears mode that three 12s in a row was too much!! The 3rd day I was getting sloppy and wasn't absorbing anything. Fortunately we are self scheduling and they completely understood and now I do two on then have a day off before the next shift. It has made a big difference. :D

i have been working 2 months now as a nurse and i am always tired after my shifts of just 8 hours...which is never 8 hours because i leave an hour later! ugh...


Specializes in pediatrics, oncology.

Same here. 99% of my shifts are 12s but even the shorter ones (like when I'm picking up hours for someone or doing a switch or something) are completely draining. I get home and feel like I have put everything I have into my work and all I can do is pass out in my bed lol. My social life, needless to say, has gone down the drain.


Specializes in LTC, sub-acute/rehab and peds..

Yes it's normal to feel exhausted as a new nurse and and as an experienced nurse with many years of experience under your belt. Nursing is a profession that is demanding both physically and emotionally so you have to keep yourself in good shape for the "marathons" we work either 3 or 5 times a week! Sleep becomes a priority before a shift, and during gruling long shifts, I make myself the #1 priority by making time to eat, stay hydrated and void when I have to. A dehydrated, hypoglycemic nurse with a UTI is a danger to patients, so hence my position in taking care of myself first and my patients second. I also force myself to do fun things on days off no matter how tired I am. You need to do things that you enjoy on days off so that you have balance in your life between work and play time. These are my tips for being able to last in this profession for many years. I wish you the best of luck and we all felt like that during our first few years.


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