I have been an RN for over 5 years now on a stroke/tele floor. I finally got an interview for labor and delivery through the training program where I work for current employees. The only thing is, it's night shift. I worked night shift for a year when I was a new grad and really struggled physically with that shift. And I now have 2 small children. Did anyone start new on labor and delivery on day shift? Or do I have to bite the bullet and go on nights until a day shift position opens? I don't want to pass up this opportunity if night shift is the "normal" starting shift. What were your experiences and which shift did you start on?
It seems like the vast majority of inpatient jobs will start you out on nights, regardless of specialty; you have to earn seniority in order to move on to days. When you train to a new specialty, some places will start you out doing both day and night shift during orientation so that you can get the 'big picture' of how things are done on both shifts. Also, if you've got an enormous cohort of new-to-specialty and new grads starting at once, they may split the group down the middle so that half start on nights and half start on days for the first 6 months off orientation so you don't run into a night shift where literally everybody is new. However, after the initial orientation period is done, you usually go to straight nights until you work your way up the seniority list for days. There may be a day shift new-to-specialty L&D position every once in a blue moon, but on most units it isn't the norm.
From what I've seen, L&D tends to be a bit busier on days than on nights since you have all of the scheduled c-sections on days (no OB is going to schedule a planned section for 0200) in addition to the unscheduled vaginal and c-section deliveries. Since the day shift can be a bit busier, some units may staff days a little more heavily than nights, which might allow you to move slightly more quickly into a day position. That said, women labor 24/7, and without seniority, new hires make up a good deal of the night shift staff.
In my opinion, if you really want to break into L&D you should bite the bullet and accept working nights. If you wait for a new-to-specialty days-only position to open up, you may be waiting forever.
I think it depends on your area, but if it's where your heart is then I'd say you may want to bite the bullet. I'm a new grad and I'm so grateful to have landed in my dream spot that I can deal with nightshift until I get to days. But I think being experienced would be hard to go back to nightshift, especially if you know it didn't work well for you. But in my hospital (and others) they do hire new to service in day shift. So maybe just let them know that you are very interested but only dayshift works for you and hopefully they'll keep you in mind for the future.
Thank you! I think I will go to the interview anyways and let them know I prefer day shift. They do the training program every 6 months, so maybe I can ask them to keep me in mind!
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