Night shift nurses may either work at night exclusively or in rotation with daytime shifts. These positions are often (but not always) staffed by entry-level nursing professionals. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities rely on night shift nurses to provide continuity of care. Advantages and Disadvantages of Night Shift Nurse Jobs. The Journal of Nursing Education and Practice (JNEP) found that there were several positive benefits associated with being a night shift nurse. Two include the ability to spend time with family (including quality time with children) and the opportunity to learn a .
, reports the International Journal of Clinical Medicine ( IJCM). Healthcare professionals, including night shift nurses, make up a notable portion of this group.
Individuals considering a role as a night shift nurse should make it a point to understand the challenges and opportunities associated with this position before accepting a job offer. Increased appreciation for the demanding nature of this job will help night shift nurses become more successful once they are hired. Defining Night Shift Nursing According to IJCM, “night shift” hours are defined as working hours between 7 p.m.
and 7 a.m. Although the length of a shift may vary by employer, most night shift hours officially last between eight and 12 hours in length. The unpredictable nature of nursing, however, sometimes requires staff members to work beyond their scheduled shift times. Night shift nurses may either work at night exclusively or in rotation with daytime shifts.
These positions are often (but not always) staffed by entry-level nursing professionals. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities rely on night shift nurses to provide continuity of care. Advantages and Disadvantages of Night Shift Nurse Jobs The Journal of Nursing Education and Practice (JNEP) found that there were several positive benefits associated with being a night shift nurse.
Two include the ability to spend time with family (including quality time with children) and the opportunity to learn additional nursing skills. In addition, night shift nurses are often part of the 12-hour workday model. This leads to a variety of healthcare benefits. Twelve-hour workdays have been found to increase productivity, involve fewer handoffs (and thus, more consistent patient care), present opportunities for more or better pay, reduce absenteeism and staff turnover, and provide better overall morale.
This last factor may be due to the three-day work week that 12-hour shift workers get in exchange for their extended workdays. The job of a night shift nurse is not for everyone. Working at night opposes the body’s natural circadian rhythms. As a result, some night shift nurses have difficulty achieving consistent, sufficient and satisfying sleep. Even if there is substantial time to sleep during the day, the body often finds it extremely difficult to fall asleep.
According to the Emergency Nurses Association, some include: • Diminished memory • Slower reaction times and information processing • Irritability • Decreased concentration and judgment • Diminished motivation that arise from working night shifts can include insomnia, increased risk of dangerous driving due to drowsiness and a strain on familial relationships, says JNEP. Ultimately, for those who have the right temperament, becoming a night shift nurse can be a rewarding career.
Survival Tips for Night Shift Nurses The difficult nature of the work means that night shift nurses must take extra care of their physical, emotional and mental health to ensure personal and professional well-being. Getting proper and adequate sleep is of paramount importance for night shift nurses.
To ensure this, by the National Sleep Foundation: • Wear dark glasses on the drive home after a shift in order to block sunlight. • Keep the same schedule of sleeping and waking, all seven days of the week. • Use eye masks and ear plugs to eliminate excess noise and light. • Avoid eating foods and drinking beverages with caffeine near bedtime.
• Avoid alcohol. To maintain good health, it is also vital for nurses to eat properly. It is recommended that night shift nurses avoid junk food from vending machines or other sources. Planning meals, staying hydrated and bringing food from home are all ways to ensure healthy eating.
Surviving the night shift also means being aware of and tending to emotional and mental issues as they arise. Working hours that are in opposition to the majority of the world’s activity, as well as one’s natural biology, can prove difficult.
For individuals to maintain optimal health, JNEP recommends: • Planning, organizing and prioritizing personal and home activities. • Decompressing at work, in order to avoid “bringing the work home.” • Exercising. This means walking at every opportunity and joining a gym, if possible. • Spending time outside. • Arranging quality time with family and friends, and enlisting their support when necessary. • Putting effort into being socially active.
• Taking advantage of daytime opportunities and thinking positively about the benefits of working a night shift. A Nursing Program That Works for You The role of a night shift nurse is challenging, but those who choose the work may well find it rewarding. Nurses can gain additional education for their career with Husson University’s .
Offered fully online, the program allows RNs to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree on a schedule that is best for them.
best dating night shift nurse schedule example - How to Stay Healthy Working Night Shifts
“Now with Snap Schedule, it is extremely easy for me to quickly implement any requested changes and generate the new schedule. I can just click and drag in order to swap shifts.
In no time at all I can have an up-to- date schedule ready. I no longer have to retype entire schedules, like I had done in the past using the old system, saving me a lot of time and tons of stress.” As a lead nurse, you may be responsible for not only patient care, but also for scheduling other nurses and medical support staff.
Most healthcare organizations have a variety of job positions that require specific skills and different work schedules. A unit in an organization may prefer pattern scheduling where the staff commits to work a set number of shift types (day, evening, night) in a given time period while other organizations may choose preference scheduling where the staff defines individual preference for shift types. Nurse scheduling software must take into account the availability of qualified personnel, preferences for particular days, shifts, locations, and regulatory and union requirements.
Regulatory and union requirements often govern the number of hours that can be worked as well as the minimum time off between shifts. Government regulations in some regions mandate nurse-to-patient ratios and healthcare organizations must prove, by means of staffing reports, that these requirements are being met.
Snap Schedule’s robust features, detailed below, can assist you in your scheduling process. Up-to-date employee availability, skill level and expiration Nurses and medical employees can enter availability information for each day of the week and restrictions that should be considered when creating and managing schedules.
Avoid over/under staffing a shift with people you need by skills and get an alert when an employee’s skill or certification is about to expire. Comply with labor rules and collective agreements Avoid grievances and ensure compliance to collective bargaining agreements, HR policies, labor and working time regulations. When filling an open shift, you can use multiple criteria to narrow down the number of eligible nurses, physicians and other medical workers.
Self-scheduling with Open Shifts Empower your nurses by letting them self-schedule with Open Shift. Schedulers can simply create an open shift for a position and specify the shift and the required number of employees and skills. Qualified nurses and physicians can view open shifts and bid for the shift they like.
Shift trade/pick up Allow automatic shift trading with or without a scheduler’s approval. Nurses and other medical employees can post their shifts for trade and coworkers who are eligible to work the shift can make pickup or swap offers. Posting employees can select any number of qualified coworkers to invite bids.. Posting employees can invite all from the list of qualified co-workers or only those selected on the list to swap shift.
Punch in/out Nurses and other medical staff can punch in and out of their assigned shifts and you can set the time window for when employees are allowed to punch in or out.
Schedulers can see the punch data in real-time or use the data to report the variances between planned and actual work hours and costs. Update availability and contact information Save time and stay up-to-date by allowing nurses and medical staff to update their own contact information and availability.
Employees can enter their availability information for each day of the week and in multiple time segments as needed. Snap Schedule uses this information to help schedulers select the best available employees to fill shifts.
Maybe you’re not doing OK. Count all the hours you spent last year, and will spend next year. How inflexible and time-consuming is changing the schedules when someone is out? Snap Schedule saves you time by dragging and dropping rather than erasing and writing. It will also help you prevent under and over staffing, schedule conflicts, and reduce your overtime and labor costs. And pencil and paper cannot email your nurses or create reports.
It can’t change views to weeks, full month, and it can’t show you just RN Joe’s or PNP Sue’s schedules. Doing these tasks by hand is very time consuming and difficult due to workload fluctuations, frequent special requests from employees, last minute changes, and high employee turnover.
Without the right tools in place, you will expend a great deal of time on these tasks — time better spent on more critical, revenue-generating activities. Yes! Snap Schedule keeps track of employee availability, skills, work hour preferences and alerts you to potential scheduling conflicts. Filling an open shift or finding a replacement is easy. Simply specify your criteria and Snap Schedule will present a list of qualified nurses for your shift planning purposes.
Yes. The E-mail Schedules wizard lets you e-mail shift assignment schedules to all or selected nurses and medical employees. Each e-mail can contain the employee’s personal schedule or schedule information of all selected employees. You have the option of including an iCalendar formatted file that contains the employee’s personal schedule so your employees can import their schedules into their calendar programs or PDAs.
Yes! Snap Schedule is designed to allow you to define your operational constraints such as non-working days, shift start and end times, nurse availabilities, weekly work hour limits, and more. You set the boundaries and Snap Schedule’s Schedule Planner alerts you to availability conflicts, duplicate shift assignments, overlapping shift assignments, conflicts with scheduled time off, if a nurse has been assigned too many hours in a work period and more. Using Excel templates for scheduling is definitely better than using pencil-and-paper but considering the price you would pay for Excel and scheduling templates, you get much more with Snap Schedule.
Nurse employee scheduling is really a multi-dimensional problem that cannot be represented in a flat row and column format. There are employees, shifts, and dates – and you really need to be able to view the schedule from multiple vantage points. You will spend many unnecessary hours to work around Excel limitations because unlike Snap Schedule, Excel is not specifically designed for nurse and physician employee shift scheduling.
If your scheduling software is more than one year old, it probably handles less than half of what Snap Schedule does and it’s not built on tools as advanced and reliable as Microsoft SQL Server, .NET, or Microsoft Azure Cloud. This means you get a modern, seamlessly integrated, rock-solid software tool that will save you time and money. Contrast the ease of use and thoroughness of Snap Schedule’s scheduling functions to those in your current solution. Then look at all the other tasks Snap Schedule does for you like medical employee information management, emailing, overtime and labor costs monitoring, management reporting, etc.
Every scheduling chore that now takes you three or four administrative minutes—and add up to hours—can suddenly take you seconds. No. Snap Schedule uses a perpetual calendar for shift assignments so there is no limit and you can schedule as far into the future as you need. Snap Schedule keeps all your nurses/physicians, shifts, and scheduling information in a single SQL Server database file.
This file will grow automatically to accommodate any shifts, holidays, vacations and time-off requests you recorded and allow you to go forward or backward in time to instantly see and assess how you are doing. Yes. Nurse scheduling is a multi-dimensional problem and you really need to be able to view the schedule from multiple vantage points.
Snap Schedule provides four graphical views to accommodate that as well as selectable date ranges within each view. The Daily view shows all shifts and time off for each nurse in a specified date range. The Shift view shows nurse employee staffing for each shift along with coverage data.
The Task view lets you schedule tasks and breaks within a shift. The Calendar view presents work and time off assignments in calendar format.
Ahh, Daylight Saving Time (DST). That time of year when sleep-deprived nurses get one more wrench thrown into their already busy lives. Often incorrectly referred to as Daylight Saving s Time, this seemingly minor adjustment can interrupt our circadian rhythms, confuse our charting, complicate our medication administration, and just mess with our workdays.
It’s amazing really, what a difference an hour makes. When is Daylight Saving Time? DST in the United States begins at 2:00 am on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November at 2:00 am. That means that Daylight Saving Time 2018 begins on March 11 and ends on November 4th.
Here’s the DST schedule for the next five years: Year Start End 2017 March 12 November 5 2018 March 11 November 4 2019 March 10 November 3 2020 March 8 November 1 2021 March 14 November 7 2022 March 13 November 6 DST is controversial though, and several states have pending legislation to eliminate it or do not observe it all. Arizona (except for the Navajo Nation) and Hawaii do not observe DST and California, Nevada, and Washington all have pending legislation to either adopt it year long or eliminate it.
Night Shift Nurses And The Time Change Interestingly, although we’ve had DST for decades, there still doesn’t seem to be a consensus on exactly how to handle it at hospitals.
And for night shift nurses, the change can be very disruptive to their lives and patient care. Shifts and Pay Private hospitals, especially for-profit hospitals tend to err on the side of whatever’s most convenient for them.
The schedules stay the same, so a NOC shift nurse normally scheduled for 7 pm - 7 am would simply be paid one hour less during the spring and one hour more in the fall with the administration claiming ‘it all evens out.’ And it does even out. As long as you work both those nights. Other hospitals take a more reasonable approach and pay nurses for the actual number of hours worked, so 11 hours in the spring and 13 hours in the fall. Another popular option is to keep the pay the same but allow the nurses to leave an hour early or ask them to stay for an extra hour.
If you’re part of a nursing labor union, you may be paid the full 12 hours in the spring and then 13 hours in the fall. Charting and Rounds Charting is an interesting subject when it comes to DST.
The problem is not so much with the nurses being confused, it’s the computer system’s inability to understand what it means. Most modern charting systems have DST built in, but some older systems simply shut down during that time period while the system is reset with the ‘new’ time. One user on a describes what happens at their hospital: From 145 “old” time to 3 “old” time - the computer charting system just went down completely. Couldn’t chart meds, enter vitals, put in new orders - nothing.
Then at 0300 “old time,” it came back on and you could only chart starting then, saying it was “0200” “new time”.
One of our rooms had a patient that was crashing and burning HARD and the system just crippled everything. Such a mess! Another user offers a simple way of dealing with the actual documentation: This is not nearly as complicated as it might seem. From 0100 (pre-DST switch) to 0300 (post-DST switch) I simply chart as follows: “documentation verbiage” 11/6/2011 0130 EST “documentation verbiage” 11/6/2011 0110 DST For nurses using 15-minute rounding sheets, documenting can become messy as well with 4 additional entries needing to be added to the margin.
There are other considerations as well. IV fluids aren’t such an issue since it’s okay for a patient to have an extra hour of fluids, but NICU nurses must adjust feeding times because frankly, babies don’t care about Daylight Saving Time. Tips for Making a Smooth Transition While it seems that night-shift nurses wouldn’t struggle with the normal sleep issues surrounding DST, that extra hour still interrupts your circadian rhythm or internal clock, leaving you feeling groggy and irritable.
To ease this transition for the upcoming ‘fall back’, you may want to try going to 10-15 minutes later every day or two leading up to the change. Adjusting your eating schedule slowly can also help along with minor, incremental adjustments to your other routine activities.
Most sleep experts agree that you should stay out of your bedroom until bedtime. Why We Have DST You can thank Ben Franklin for coming up with the concept way back in 1784 as a money-saving measure when candle use was the only lighting option and an expensive one at that.
He argued that rising with the sun and going to bed earlier at night would allow everyone to make use of free morning daylight. Since then DST has gone through several iterations resulting in a colorful history that affects international relations, creates nested time zones, and influences your health. has covered this subject extensively and the articles are worth a read.
When I Eat, Sleep And Train