I soon will be starting a new bedside job after a long break and am going to have to work some night shifts to reorient myself. Night shift can be tough for some of us who naturally like to live during daytime hours, but some of my most memorable nights as a nurse happened during night shift. Thus, there are some unique benefits to being a night shift nurse. Here we go.
It’s all about the money honey
Anyone who has swapped from nights to days or days to nights knows there is a substantial pay difference. Most night shift jobs offer four to five dollars per hour for a shift differential. When added to weekend or holiday shift differential, a weekend option, night shift nurse can make a substantially higher amount of money. And, hey, since you are awake when everyone is asleep, you deserve those extra dollars.
It is common knowledge that the most “fun” people work on night shift. This could be because they have been sleep deprived for many years and have lost the ability to be uptight, or just simply, that the largest personalities are attracted to all of the other benefits of nightshift. Whatever it is, I can guarantee, the most exciting people work night shift. So, for a good time, pick up a night shift.
There is always food and coffee
Night shifters are serious about food. Around 2000, someone on the unit will inevitably ask, “Does anyone want to order food?” By 2300, a feast will arrive to the unit door. Likewise for coffee breaks. Coffee on night shift is practically spiritual. When coffee breaks are had or someone is making coffee, it is a free for all because everyone is just trying their best to stay awake.
Uninterrupted time with your patients
Most of the special memories I’ve had with patients occurred during night shift. This is because the pace is typically a little slower, there a fewer interruptions, and you are able to provide more thorough patient care (in general). This can be a great place for baby nurses to rotate. If the complexities of dayshift are stressing you out, no matter how experienced or inexperienced you are, night shift might be a nice change of scenery to appreciate your favorite aspects of being a bedside nurse again.
Here’s the thing about night shift, typically it’s a slower pace, but when the storm hits, it’s a hurricane. On night shift, the teamwork is exceptional. Normally, not every person on the unit is busy so you never feel abandoned by your nurse buddies. Also, in some hospitals, upper level practitioners are not always around, thus you and your nurse friends run the show. Some of the most experienced nurses work night shift typically, so they will help/show you how to get the job done. As a nurse, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing nurses work together in an emergency situation, this is evidenced by the teamwork on night shift. Teamwork makes the dream work.
So, if you need your faith renewed in nursing again, a shift without management present, or simply some extra cash, work a night shift or two, you won’t regret it. What are you favorite qualities of night shift?
Danielle is the owner of her blog Nurse Abnormalities.