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Which is better? Day or Night shift for new grad?

Med-Surg   (20,261 Views 14 Comments)
by carebearsRN carebearsRN (New Member) New Member

4,242 Visitors; 140 Posts

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Hi Everyone! I got an offer today for a Med/Surg position :D After 10 months of persistent job hunting after graduation, somebody finally wants me lol So I was offered either day or night shift.... I want to hear some opinions about it. I'm an early bird and thinks i'm a day person... however, if I must do nights.. I will.

So my concern is.... WHICH shift is better for a new grad? In terms of learning and getting comfortable with the unit ...etc.

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5,700 Visitors; 295 Posts

I learned so much as a new grad on nights because there were nurses that were great teachers and great role models, there was less chaos of pts coming and going to tests, procedures, etc. It was a small unit in a small hospital and on nights we had no one to rely on but each other.

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studentdan works as a Sales Assistant.

2,065 Visitors; 25 Posts

Hi, congratulations on getting offered a position. Sorry I can't offer you any information on day or night shifts -- haven't started my course yet. If I was to choose on the spot I'd pick night shifts because I'm more of a nocturnal person. :)

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Sparrowhawk works as a um..nurse??.

10,848 Visitors; 664 Posts

I think day shift is better because you have more support staff and you get more experience with dealing with things..but that just could vary between facilities.

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fungez has 19 years experience.

7,479 Visitors; 364 Posts

I worked nights for years and years and I hated it. I hated staying up all night and could never sleep during the day. I used to cry on my drive in. It did it because the night diff raised my hourly wage up to where I could afford to pay bills.*

Night shift is traditionally understaffed because it's supposedly "slower paced." Don't believe it. Yeah, some people do sleep but there are plenty of sundowners who don't. When things go bad on night shift they tend to go really bad, and there's less backup. Also, you have to wake up crabby incoherent docs. And people call you when you're trying to sleep, and they say things like "what? have you been sleeping all day?"

Take the day shift - yeah, you have to learn to deal with docs face to face, and all the joint commision idiots, but you'll learn a lot. And you can always switch to night, because there's always positions. Days is much harder to get into.

*12 bucks an hour plus diff

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cherrybreeze works as a Registered Nurse.

11,960 Visitors; 1,405 Posts

I'm surprised that you have a day shift option...that is hard to come by, as a new grad!

Just being honest, where I work, I think there's more teamwork on night shift. You have more patients, yes, but it's a different routine. There are benefits to both, so I think whatever hours you feel more comfortable working would be the best (you say you're a morning person, so that might be better). Where I am, I think days would have been harder to start, since asking for help would not have resulted in getting as much as it does on pm's or nights.

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Tweety has 28 years experience and works as a Med-Surg.

3 Likes; 2 Followers; 47,270 Visitors; 28,918 Posts

Med surg is tough either shift. Personally I think nights is a good place for new grads to hone their skills and organizations skills because their patients aren't running off to procedures, management isn't around, etc.

The "however" is that if you aren't good at sleeping during the day, night shift is hard on the body and lack of sleep and fatigue causes more distress than the chaos of med-surg on daysfhit.

Best of luck!

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vanlo001 works as a peds BMT and heme/onc.

2,709 Visitors; 91 Posts

If I was given an option I would choose day shift everytime. How lucky you are. Rarely are nurses able to decide which shift they want to go to. This tells me that the night shift staff at your facility must he happy on nights because before a new grad would be offered day shift the existing nurses must have been offered days and turned it down (that is typically how ur works it could be different at your place of employment).

1st off- sleep deprivation is real. It takes work to sleep during the day and turn yourself around and participate in day shift activities with family and friends on your days off. Some people are able to do this.

2nd- limited learning opportunities to learn at night. It's true there's less happening, less supervision and less resources at night. This requires that there be more team work. However you may be less prepared to deal with and recognize a patient in impending crisis because patients want to sleep, the lights are out less people are assessing the patient. It's not that patients don't crash they do, but you may be on your own when it first happens.

3rd limited chance to interact with patients and families. Teaching happens during the day. The more you do it the more comfortable you will be.

4th rounds can help you understand the wide variety of disease processe. On nights you may have one or two experienced nurses with four new nurses. That's spreading the bulk of the knowledge thin.

There are awesome nurses on nights. Being on nights necessitates you be an independant thinker. I've said you want experienced nurses on nights because that's when no ones around to help out. Miracles happen all the time at night and people rarely notice that is the # 5 reason to work days: you will stand out more. You could take awesome care of your patients and no one will know because if management doesn't witness it it's like it never happened.

So that's my two cents. I've done nights and days. I've worked med/surg- you will learn more than you ever thought possible. Best of luck to you and all the other newer nurses.

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4,242 Visitors; 140 Posts

thank you so much everyone for your replies! I'm going to take in all the advice :) :yeah:

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16,115 Visitors; 1,216 Posts

Congrats on getting an offer..wow it sounds like you have a tought decision to make...I guess I would for nights,better learning envinronment for a new grad (less chaos,can look up pt history) and better pay.BTW I will be working evenings as a new grad

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marilynmom works as a Adolescent psych.

14,226 Visitors; 2,155 Posts

I personally work nights and love nights, Im a natural night owl.

If you are not a night owl by nature I would go with the day shift. Because workings nights for some people is a VERY miserable existence. I had friends who worked nights and while I was full of energy and always slept all day with no problems they just never could adjust and were depressed and miserable. So do what you think is best for yourself.

Ive worked nights and days, both have their pros and cons. If your a natural morning person, then I would go with days.

I started on days as a new grad and though it was hard and very busy I learned and saw a LOT.

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3,656 Visitors; 106 Posts

I worked nights for years and years and I hated it. I hated staying up all night and could never sleep during the day. I used to cry on my drive in. It did it because the night diff raised my hourly wage up to where I could afford to pay bills.*

Night shift is traditionally understaffed because it's supposedly "slower paced." Don't believe it. Yeah, some people do sleep but there are plenty of sundowners who don't. When things go bad on night shift they tend to go really bad, and there's less backup. Also, you have to wake up crabby incoherent docs. And people call you when you're trying to sleep, and they say things like "what? have you been sleeping all day?"

Take the day shift - yeah, you have to learn to deal with docs face to face, and all the joint commision idiots, but you'll learn a lot. And you can always switch to night, because there's always positions. Days is much harder to get into.

*12 bucks an hour plus diff

WOW are you RN? that seems low for a hourly rate.... what part of country you in?

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