Right now I am sitting in front of my computer frustrated with myself. I am a med/surg/tele RN for a year and five months, 7a-7p. Prior to that I worked in LTC skilled unit 3-11pm. My heart so badly wants to be in the maternity field. I have such love and passion for women's health etc. My frustration stems from the opportunities there are for L&D nursing in my area. there are 4 hospitals within 30 mins of my house that offer L&D. 2 require a BSN( which I am working on). Due to my experience in LTC working 3-11p, I am terrified to apply to a position 7p-7a. My body does not adjust well to change and I'm concerned working nights will make me resent where I work etc.( if I am so lucky to even get a position.) I have been told and have read a few articles with tips on how to handle switching from days to night and I know starting nights could be what is necessary to break into L&D but I truly am anxious about it.
Thank you for reading, any suggestion/comments welcome!
Oct 12, '17
I'm a long term night shift nurse on mother baby. It can be difficult at times. I have to make sure i nap during the day on the nights i work. Yes the day after i work im useless but sleep fixes that. i sleep until 1pm then make myself stay up so i can get back to a normal schedule. i also work my nighta together. i do 2 nights 1 off then my last night. 3 nights together are rough on me and i avoid them when i can. if you are passionate about l&d i would see if you are able to do it.
Oct 12, '17
Thank you for your reply. I am feeling discouraged right now with some things. However, L and D is where I belong! I am truly so passionate about the entire aspect of maternity. After writing this pity party for myself,I decided to suck it up and apply. I can't expect change if I don't jump at the chances in front of me :-) thank you again for your reply. I really like the 2 on 1 off 1 on week. That's how I feel I would want my schedule as well!
Oct 13, '17
I left a dayshift med/surg job for nights in L&D and I don't regret a thing. I actually prefer nights. I have had opportunities to switch to days on this unit and chose to stay on nights. It can take some time to get used to, but once you get into a rhythm, it's not so bad. I never wake up to an alarm! I only work 2 days a week, so that probably helps, but I think I could make 3 nights a week work if I needed to.
Oct 14, '17
I work 12 hour nights -- every Thurs/Fri/Sat. I'm also in grad school and have 8 hour clinical days Mon/Tue/Wed/Thurs from 8a to 4p. Oh, and I'm 9 months pregnant. I'm not kidding! If I can flip back and forth and survive, ANYONE can.
It's not the healthiest or most comfortable lifestyle, but if you prioritize sleep, eating well, exercise, and other self care, you'll make it. Get blackout curtains, make your room a "sleep only" zone, turn off your phone, and enlist the support of those you live with. They need to know that if you are day-sleeping, you are absolutely NOT to be interrupted unless there is an emergency. Remind them that your 2pm is the same as their 2am. If they don't support you or don't get it, wake them up in the middle of the night and see how they like it. I'm totally serious.
I say go for it -- You'll get your foot in the door to your true calling, and I'm sure straight night shift will be temporary. I've been with my unit long enough (3 yrs) to switch to days if I wanted, but I choose not to because of my school schedule. Plus, nights (especially night weekends) pays more.
You may even find you prefer the "night culture" on the unit. Good luck to you!
Oct 14, '17
No shift is worse than 3-11, IMHO.
Oct 16, '17
Thank you for your response, it gives me hope. I think I would be ok if I did 2 shifts rather than 3.
Oct 16, '17
Thank you very much for your reply!
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