Travel Nurse Night Shift: Surviving a Travel Nurse Night Shift

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By Nurse First Travel Agency

October 21, 2022



12 Tips to Survive a Travel Nurse Night Shift

Nurse First Travel Agency provided this article.

Travel nursing has become a great career choice for nurses who want to travel and earn extra income. The job often involves working long hours at night, often in less desirable travel nurse locations. If you’re thinking about becoming a travel nurse, you should know that working nights can be challenging. There are some things you can do to prepare for the transition from day to night shifts.

When you become a travel nurse, you’ll likely spend several weeks or months away from home. This means you’ll miss out on family time and other important events. To cope with these challenges, you’ll want to plan ahead. But it doesn’t have to be miserable. Read on for 12 tips to survive a travel nurse night shift and ensure your success. 

12 tips to survive a travel nurse night shift and ensure your success. 


1. Prepare Yourself Beforehand

Before you leave home, plan out your schedule so you know when you’ll be sleeping, eating, showering, etc. Also, pack all of your medications and medical equipment ahead of time.

2. Eat Healthy

During your overnight shift, you’re going to be eating very little. So, eat well before you leave home. Avoid junk food and unhealthy snacks. Instead, pack something like fruit, nuts, granola bars, protein shakes, etc.

3. Stay Hydrated

It’s also important to stay hydrated during your overnight shift. Drinking lots of water will prevent you from feeling thirsty. When you’re thirsty, you tend to drink more fluids. And, when you drink more fluid, you lose weight. So, staying hydrated will help you avoid losing weight.

4. Wear Comfortable Clothes

Wear clothes that are comfortable. You’ll be wearing them for hours at a time. So, choose clothes that fit comfortably but still look professional.

5. Be Prepared

Be prepared for your overnight shift. Have everything you need ready ahead of time. Bring along your uniform, medications, phone charger, etc.

6. Take breaks

Try to take short breaks every hour or so. Get up and stretch your legs. Walk around the room. Do whatever helps you relax.

7. Make Friends With Other Nurses

Nurses are like family. They understand what you go through every day. When you’re having a rough night, you want someone to talk to about it. So, find out where the nurses hang out during the night shift. Maybe there’s a coffee shop nearby. If you don’t know anyone else, start making friends now.

8. Create A Consistent Sleep Pattern

You’ve heard it before: “Sleep when you’re tired.” Well, that’s true. But how do you know when you’re really tired? One way to tell is to wake up naturally. Instead of waking up to an alarm, wake up naturally. Go to bed around the same time each night. Then, wake up naturally again. Once you establish a consistent sleep pattern, you won’t feel tired when you wake up.

9. Stick to your schedule

When you’re on a travel nurse assignment, there’s no way to predict what days you might be called upon to work. So you need to develop a routine that works best for you. For example, some nurses like to wake up early and go straight to bed late, while others prefer to keep their mornings free. Whatever works best for you, make sure you stick to it.

10. Don’t eat before bedtime

The best way to avoid getting sick while traveling is to make sure you don’t eat anything too heavy before bedtime. You’ll want to keep it light and healthy, like fruit, nuts, yogurt, and granola bars. Avoid eating meat, dairy, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and sweets.

11. Meal Prep

You might think that meal prepping makes things easier, but it actually makes them more complicated because you won’t know what you’re having for dinner until you’ve already eaten breakfast. When possible, try to cook one day ahead and freeze meals you know you’ll eat later. This will help you save money and space in your suitcase.

12. Keep your room cool. 

When it comes time to sleep, keeping a cooler room may help. A cooler temperature helps regulate your internal body temperature. Try keeping your bedroom around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. You can even add blackout curtains since the light from outside might deter you from falling asleep. 


Travel nursing is a rewarding career choice because you get paid to travel across the country and provide care to patients who need medical attention. In addition to earning a good hourly wage, you also get to experience new places and meet interesting people. The job also offers flexibility and independence. You’ll be working long hours, but you’ll enjoy the benefits of being away from home. 

The downside is that you’ll often spend long hours at the hospital or clinic where you work. This means that you’ll miss out on time with family and friends back home. But don’t worry. Following our tips on how to survive a travel nurse night shift can ensure that you enjoy your travels.

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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