Preceptorship: Will I learn more on the day shift or night shift?

by c.dom c.dom (New) New

Hey everyone. so next semester is my last semester and today we got paperwork about our preferences for precepting. one of the boxes asked if we would be interested in 7p-7a shifts

I've always felt like night shift would mesh better with my life but I'm more concerned about my learning. will I have an opportunity to do the same amount of skills as a student doing day shift? I know nurses tend to say patients never sleep through the night anyways so the unit won't be quiet but idk

basically, my school says that we may get assigned night shift due to availability even if we don't want them but in my case I'm thinking of volunteering for it

my question: does precepting 7p-7a shifts put students at a disadvantage?

Lev, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency - CEN. Has 7 years experience. 9 Articles; 2,802 Posts

I think there will more time to learn on nights - more time to sit down and talk about things, time to document, etc, and you may get to do AM labs. However, in general during the day time there are more medications to give and more orders to carry out - I.e. more skills. There is also more exposure to other departments - speech, PT/PT, social work, multidisciplinary rounding etc. Days and nights are different. Both busy, but in general nights have a little bit of downtime on some nights which I have not seen on days. (From an inpatient perspective, not the ER where I work currently.)

Summer Days

Summer Days

203 Posts

I chose to do my precetorship at night. I say it will depend on the unit/area of nursing you will be assigned to. I was placed at a stepdown telemetry unit and about the only shift I remember having some breathing space was when I was assigned to follow the charge nurse. The rest of the shifts I recall hitting the ground running till start of day shift. In addition, I was paired with an awesome preceptor, who kept challenging me each shift. So as you can see there are variables as to whether you'll learn during noc shift or not. All the best.


fustudent610, BSN, RN, EMT-B

1 Article; 50 Posts

I did my final clinicals at nights and I loved it! Days there was more stuff going on, but nights you can actually learn and do more. So if you want the most exposure, day. But if you want to be a part of it, nights.

One night there was a code and they made me act as time keeper. Had it been during the day I guarantee you the hall would have been way too crowded to even see.



14 Posts

thank you, everyone! I ended up checking that box for nights. I hope I won't regret it :)


DiscGolfNurse, BSN

Specializes in Pediatric/Adult Oncology. Has 7 years experience. 148 Posts

You definitely won't regret it. I am currently working nights for my first nursing job and I absolutely recommend it for new grads. It allows ample time to learn your flow and how to organize your patient care. Good luck! Welcome to the dark side ;)