What shift works best for LTC/Nursing Home?

Specialties Geriatric


  1. Good shift for New Nurse

    • Day Shift 7am-7pm
    • Night Shift 7pm-7am

6 members have participated

Specializes in Progressive Care, Sub-Acute, Hospice, Geriatrics.

So, I just went to an interview today at a LTC/Subacute/Nursing Home. I applied originally for a 7pm-7am shift. I chose this shift because I think I function well at night and also I don't really like waking up early in the morning. Anyways, the interviewer told me that new grad usually learn more during day shift and would highly suggest I do day shift. The way he was saying it I realize that it does make sense as everything happens in day shifts. I did tell him that I can do day shifts but would prefer to do night shift. I also did ask if I can try both shift just to get the feel of how each shifts goes. I think he wants to give me the job but assistant hiring manager wasn't there so he told me to wait for a call next week. Anyways, when I got home I thought about how the interviewer talked me into working days. I realized I should have pushed more about wanting to do night shift. I spoke to a friend that works there and she told me to be firm about which shift I want because they will need to orient me and so that they have the schedule down. She also told me that they probably talk me into it because they need day shifts nurse as theres a high turnover with day nurses. If I do get hired and get a call, I'm planning on letting the HR or DON know that I'd prefer to work night shift and not day shift.

Anyways that's sort of the back story. My question is which shift do you prefer or would you do if you're a new grad??

I have worked all shifts but they were 8 hour shifts 7a-3p, 3p-11p and 11p-7a. In my experience 11p-7a was by far the easiest shift but without a doubt the new grads who worked that shift did not learn anywhere near as much by, say the one year mark. If they had to cover a day shift they struggled. They were much slower to get promoted and trained for new opportunities because their shift was mainly babysitting the restless patients with dementia who did not want to be in bed, paperwork/stocking duties for the day and then a morning med pass. They did very little wound care compared to days, where on day shift even if you are not doing the wound care yourself you are seeing it happen and learning from it. At night you are rarely working closely with an experienced nurse or manager you can learn from as staffing tends to be bare bones. Day shift does the admission and discharge paperwork, night shift never really learned it. And people on days got steadily promoted while new grads working nights had people talking behind their backs about how they knew nothing after all this time. After some years experience, if I had to work LTC now I would only consider nights because it is easy. But not as a new grad.

I definitely recommend working some day shifts. You would see a lot more and understand what happens during the day and why some tasks need to carry over into nights. That said, I've only worked in facilies that do 8 hour shifts. I think starting at 7 will give you a little peek, but I still encourage and schedule a few shifts of orientation on days.

Specializes in Mental Health, Gerontology, Palliative.

Morning shifts are much busier, however you will learn a lot more.

Talking to one of our new grad RNs who does alot of night shifts and she is finding she doesnt get much opportunity to practice her clinical skills

I hate mornings, would still rather work a morning because they are usually much more interesting

Specializes in Progressive Care, Sub-Acute, Hospice, Geriatrics.

I believe that is what they will do. I still don't know my schedule as orientation begins next week. I hope everything turns out okay. My friend started on nights and she never did day shift. However, based on what she told me, she does a lot, she said she does wound care, IVs, Tube feedings, admissions and discharge and other sorts. So, I don't think I'll miss out on skills. She did say it's very quiet at night and I just Have to get used to it.

Anyways, anyone have suggestions on what to brush up on?? Thanks for the replies btw!!

Issue is what if you had to trouble shoot something in the middle of the night during med pass- G-tube meds. If the tube is clogged, you may have to find another nurse to help. Good if you can do it. Or if you have an I.V. med to give (by gravity via midline), but troubleshooting I.V. vanc if it's not running, which is an important med.. these are just issues if you don't have an extra nurse on hand.

Specializes in Progressive Care, Sub-Acute, Hospice, Geriatrics.

I believe there's 3 nurses on night shift. 2 nurses plus a charge nurse and I think 2 CNAs

Specializes in Gerontology.

As a new grad, I would think working night shift, at least initially, might be a good idea. I started on nights for 8 months before I went to days. Although I didn't so as much as day shift, I still had to use my critical thinking nursing skills and it helped me to ease into the profession. It was still a little rough for me when I switched to days, but not nearly as much as it would have been had I started on days as a new nurse.

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