When nurses first consider working the night shift, it’s easier to consider the difficulties inherent in working a job when most everyone else is asleep. But what you might not realize is there some tremendous benefits that come from working the nursing late shift. While it may take some time to adjust to the new schedule, working nights in a hospital, skilled nursing or another clinical facility may surprise you.
Benefits for Night Owls
“It is a known fact that in just about every hospital in the country that teamwork is better on nights.” – KeepingItRealRN.com
The first benefit to consider is there will be less visitor traffic during the night shift. You won’t have to deal with anyone besides the clinical team and patients; with visiting hours over, most family members have gone home. There are fewer management tasks and generally, depending on the unit, it’s a quieter and often, less stressful time. Of course, this isn’t true in the ER, but in other units, there are generally fewer disturbances beyond patient care.
Don’t discount this benefit; we know that dealing with families can add a layer of stress to an already difficult role. Working the night shift allows you to focus on providing the best patient care possible with no additional distractions. For a nurse that’s newer to the profession, the night shift may be actually a better way to gain on-the-job confidence as you hone your clinical skills without having to multitask by answering questions from families or other visitors.
Another benefit is the higher pay differential available in most of these roles. State laws dictate some of this, of course, but generally, night shift nurses make about 10 percent more than their day shift peers. That’s what makes these roles desirable for supplemental income. It’s a good shift to take on to earn extra cash.
You might laugh at this one, but it’s true: You’ll spend less time waiting on elevators. In a busy hospital, waiting for an elevator is a surprising time drain during the day, because you’re battling staff and families as you try to get from place to place.
Along the same lines, imagine less traffic going to work and better parking when you get there. In a busy city facility, this will help eliminate some of the stressors that clinical teams working the day shift have to deal with.
Night shift teams are perceived as tighter and there is more camaraderie in part because the pace is slower, and nurses can concentrate on making real friendships.
Is the Night Shift Right For You?
There’s a different rhythm to the night shift. Some units are actually busier at night, but other units grow quiet which gives clinical teams a refreshing break from the hectic pace during the day. Day shifts are filled with visitors and management, medical students rounding and a general hectic circus of non-stop activity. There are pros and cons, however, to both the day and the night shift. But given the benefits we’ve discussed here, why not try a night shift or two to see how it fits? Talk to MAS Medical Staffing to find out more.