Trouble getting on night shift?


Anyone else having this problem? When I was in school, all I heard was, "When you graduate, expect to work nights for a while - it's tough to find day shift positions as a new grad." Now that I've graduated and am working, I'm having the opposite problem. Not only could my family really use the money, one of the major reasons I decided to go into nursing was the ability to work a nontraditional schedule. I have an extremely difficult time functioning at my best when I have to get up at 0530, and my pre-nursing work history consists almost exclusively of night jobs. I never considered that I'd have a problem getting on nights! It's been 6 months now, and no openings. I know I should be glad that I have a job, and that it's the type of nursing that I want to be doing.

I've been told it's because of the economy - the more experienced nurses are switching to nights r/t spouses getting laid off or not having job security, and overtime drying up at the hospital. I know that positions will open up eventually, especially as my seniority increases, it's just frustrating right now. There aren't many opporunities to make more than my relatively low base pay right now without picking up a second job, and we were required to sign a noncompetition agreement so those are limited as well. Argh.


2,016 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry & Obs.

Another thought: sometimes it's because you're doing such a good job that your manager doesn't want to lose you to another shift :)

I know they can make it ridiculously difficult to transfer to another department, etc


108 Posts

wow! I hadn't thought about people switching to night shift due to the economy but it makes sense. My hospital is still the old school situation.. Every single position is nights!!! I can't do nights as I've found out, which is why I ended up leaving! Best of luck to you and keep looking! I'm sure something will come up! In the mean time, appreciate the days =)

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

The thing I've found with the overnight shifts is that those of us who do it, love it and aren't as likely to leave so it has been my experience that there aren't that many full time openings. Part-time and PRN yes but the full timers don't leave.

I haven't heard of a non-compete clause in nursing. The last industry I worked in had them but to get someone to sign an exclusivity agreement meant they were offering incredible terms.


52 Posts

I just got my LPN and I am hoping to get hired for nights. Not eves. Second choice is days. I really love nights. I have worked that shift for 20 years. I am praying for something to come up because 10.00 as a CNA I am really not doing great financially especially since I have to pay back student loans.


396 Posts

Specializes in Oncology, Med-Surg, Nursery. Has 8 years experience.

Not here. I can't find a day position. Oh well, for now I'll just take the extra money and be happy. I am a night person, but for the sake of being able to participate in life, I'd one day like to find a day position.


1,714 Posts

I guess it just varies hospital to hospital then. Mine definitely doesn't have a waiting list for days, and there are many 20+ year veteran night shifters (at least on the units I'm familiar with). I heard a rumor someone may want to trade with me, so if mgmt approves it I might not have to wait long after all. Thanks!

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