Night Shift Nurse: The Pros and Cons · The Gypsy Nurse

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By CareerStaff Unlimited

March 9, 2023

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Travel Nurse Guide: Pros and Cons of a Night Shift Nurse

CareerStaff Unlimited provided this article.

Travel nursing offers countless benefits for nurses ready for a thrilling and rewarding career. In fact, exploring new places and meeting new people while providing medical care are just a few of the advantages of travel nursing! However, before your next nursing career adventure, there are many aspects to think about. These aspects include your schedule and what shifts to work. Whether you take on a daytime, evening, or night shift during your next travel nurse assignment, it’s important to consider your lifestyle, career goals, and the amount of work you are willing to handle. Becoming a night shift nurse can offer a unique experience for travel nurses, coming with its own set of advantages and disadvantages to explore.

Types of Nurse Shifts

Before taking on the adventure of being a night shift nurse, there are several nurse shift and schedule options to understand. For many nurse assignments, your hours can range from 32 to 40 or more hours per week. However, nurse schedules can vary based on need and your contract. Some of the most common nurse shift lengths are 8-hour, 10-hour, and 12-hour shifts. These can include daytime, evening, and nighttime shifts. Night shift nurses can often follow an 8 or 12-hour schedule, so think about what will help you make the most of your 13 weeks. Whichever adventure you choose, be sure to ask questions and discuss your shift options with your travel nurse recruiter.

Benefits for Night Shift Nurses

Picture working in an environment with fewer visitors, fewer changes to patient care, and the joys of self-autonomy! In addition to the perk of earning more money, night shift nurses can enjoy unique benefits that other shifts may not have. For one, being off during the day provides nurses with the exclusive opportunity for dedicated “me time” while the rest of the world is at work. With more free time during the day, you’ll enjoy more opportunities to catch up with family and friends, run errands, and avoid the headache of rush hour traffic. For travel nurses, this can also mean more time to explore the surrounding city during your assignment.

Working night shifts also give travel nurses on assignment a unique perspective on care. During the night, providing personalized care to patients and keeping everything stable is the name of the game. Oftentimes, there are fewer procedures and fewer staff or physicians to report to at night. This gives night shift nurses the exciting opportunity to test their decision-making skills. The added bonus of less “buzz” during the night means that visitors are limited. As a result, there is more time to focus on keeping the patient comfortable and ready for the next day. Working overnight night shifts can bring nurses a cornucopia of perks, all while gaining valuable experience in patient care.

Cons for Night Shifts Nurses

Much like other types of nurse shifts, the night shift can come with some added disadvantages. Your ability to focus and make decisions is key as a nurse and caregiver. However, with a schedule that includes resting during the daytime, these abilities can be tested. Taking on overnight nurse shifts means adjusting to a schedule that allows for ample time for sleep. If you’re a nurse and are new to this type of schedule, surviving night shifts can be a challenge. You may also miss out on opportunities during the daytime due to needing to recharge after your shift. For travel nurses, this may mean prioritizing rest over exploring the city.

A more relaxed environment is a luxury for many nurses. However, the quiet environment and differences in responsibilities can take some getting used to. For instance, nurses can be one of the only staff on duty during the wee hours of the night. Having fewer resources available, night shift nurses must be able to make patient care decisions by themselves. In the event of an emergency, you may find yourself needing to call in help from off-duty staff. As a pro tip, remember to explore what resources may be available at this facility with your travel nurse recruiter. Working overnight as a nurse can be rewarding, but not without the unique challenge of self-reliance.

Choosing the Right Nurse Shift

Choosing between daytime, evening, and overnight time nurse shifts can be a difficult decision and depend on your nursing goals. Therefore, when exploring your next travel nurse assignment, remember to consider the pros and cons of becoming a night shift nurse.

As you embark on your next journey as a nurse, CareerStaff Unlimited reminds the adventurous travel nurse to ask questions, research, and discuss with your recruiter which shifts are best for you. No matter which type of nurse shift you choose, as a travel nurse, your career possibilities are endless!

Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. We have you covered with our housing page if housing is an issue. You can search for what you are looking for.

If you are a new travel nurse or looking into becoming a travel nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step-by-Step (now offered in a PDF Downloadable version!)

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