shift question


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Specializes in NICU. Has 18 years experience.

I started on night shift and had been there for about 10 months, then was offered a day shift position. No thanks! Then 4 months after that I was offered a day shift position again. Again, no thanks!

This probably isn't the norm. But we just expanded our unit, added some more beds, and are hiring a ton of new nurses. I know some new grads that have only been on night shift for 3 or 4 months, and are now being offered day positions. Some of the brand new grads will only have to be on nights for a month or 2. The veteran nurses are telling us how lucky we are because usually it's a few year wait. Ah well, I'm a total night person and won't go to days even if you pay me more (which is just the oppposite ... it's a pay CUT).

If you really want NICU, then go for it. Most people know that starting a nursing job requires them starting out on night shift. It just comes down to what you want more .... to work in a NICU or work during the day. If you want to work during the day I'm sure you can find something that has those hours you want. Otherwise I would recommend you at least TRY working night shift. It's a lot more intimidating than it truly is. We have a great crew on nights .... the most helpful group, and we have fun! :D

Good luck to you!


2 Articles; 2,512 Posts

Specializes in Neonatal ICU (Cardiothoracic). Has 9 years experience.
Night shift is horrid. Avoid it at all costs. But, generally that is where new folks start. Are you a male or female. If you are a male you have a good shot at getting a day shift position to start. You just have to go in and say that is all you will take. They will also give you however much money you say if you are a man.


1. Night shift is not "horrid", I've done it, and am going back to it once off orientation at my new job. While some people can't adjust their biological clocks to sleep on the off shift, most people can adapt successfully to nights, and often find it works better for families, pays more, allows for more hands-on care time, slower paced, and the crew you work with is usually a great team. You also don't have to deal with management and scads of people messing with your pts and charts.

(You also can stay up later than anyone else at parties on your nights off!)

2. You can always trade your first choice of unit for day shift somewhere else. But chances are you can stick it out for a year or two until your turn comes up.

3. Total BS about guys getting on dayshift first. Obviously from the tone of this post, someone got burned by a guy "getting to dayshift" before they did. In every hospital I've worked at, pay was set by HR, and was based on experience and educational level. If someone got paid more, it was because they deserved it. I'm a guy, and I started out at the same pay rate that everyone else did. I also had to wait my proper turn to come to days along with everyone else. Some units decide to put new staff on days straight off to balance the experience level of days/nights, rather than putting all the new people on nights and moving the experienced people to days.


88 Posts

Specializes in Level 3 NICU 17 yrs, Neo transport 13 yr. Has 21 years experience.

in our unit, getting to day shift is based on seniority. we have enough "voluntary" night shift people that once in a while a newer employee can "sneek" into a day position, but mainly you have to pay your dues. i for one, couldn't be paid enough to work the day shift, at least not at this point in my life.

TiffyRN, BSN, PhD

2,315 Posts

Specializes in Nurse Scientist-Research. Has 30 years experience.

Our unit does hire a few new grads to day shift, but not very many. They do this to help balance the experience. All nurses who want to go to day shift put their name on a list that is available for all to see. Everyone on the list knows what "number" they are and where they are on the list. There would be no skipping ahead, whether or not one was male. Our list by the way is about 30 people long so it takes a while to move to the top.

We have had 3 guys in our unit since I have worked there, all started on night shift and happened to be on days when I was there but they had "done their time".

And this is one nurse that would say "Day shift if horrid, avoid it at all costs". I thought I just disliked day shift until I had an assignment on days as a traveler. I hated that shift so much I counted down all my shifts day by day (like 10 down, 29 to go).


583 Posts

Maybe, just maybe, if I stick it out another 25 years, I might get to permanent day shift.

There are nurses in my NICU who have been there 20+ years and still have to pick up occasional night shifts. The few who are actually permanent days have been there longer! The bulk of the nurses rotate 30-40%.

Love4Me, RN

134 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

I thought I would hate midnights but have come to realize I LOVE them. Couldn't pay me enough to work straight days. And yes I have a husband and 3 kiddos.

At my hospital new grads hire in on days strictly for orientation (which is 20 weeks long). Then your permanent position has to have include at least half off shifts per schedule. So people have the choice of working days/afternoons (2 shifts of 7A-7P with 2 shifts of 3P-11P), straigth midnights, or rotating midnights (once schedule of 4 weeks of midnights followed by one schedule of days). A few people who have had a problem with adjusting to the rotation schedule of 4 weeks were able to get their schedules so that they rotate every 12 weeks instead.

Hope this helps.

Specializes in NICU. Has 18 years experience.

I can't imagine anything harder on your body than rotating schedules ..... ahh that would KILL me!

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