Tips for Working as a Night Shift Nurse

by | Jun 19, 2018 | Podcasts | 0 comments

This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, PlayerFM, iHeartRadio, Libsyn, Spotify, and Amazon Music.

Articles contain affiliate links. For more information on affiliate links, click here

Who You’ll Hear

Kati Kleber, MSN RN– Nurse educator, former cardiac med-surg/stepdown and neurocritical care nurse, author, and speaker.

Melissa Stafford, BSN RN CCRN SCRN – highly experienced and currently practicing nationally certified neurocritical care nurse.

Elizabeth Mills, BSN RN CCRN – highly experienced neurocritical care nurse, current Stroke Navigator for a Primary Stroke Center.

What You’ll Learn

  • Pros
  • Food
  • Sleep planning

Tips for Working Night Shift – Show Notes

Elizabeth, Melissa, and Kati discuss some tips for nurses new to night shift. All three have worked night shift, and Elizabeth was working nights when this episode was recorded. This episode discusses very practical tips for learning how to live a night shift nurse life from the perspective of current and former night shift nurses. We discuss eating and sleeping tips, to how to manage your nursing care on the night shift, communicating with the healthcare team at night, and more.

Pros to night shift

  • Make more money
  • Can get away with drinks at the nurse’s station – WATER 😉
  • Generally busiest part of the shift is the beginning
  • Time to read notes and look up things, figure out the plan of care
  • Not waking up at 0500
  • More time to process information as a new nurse

Food / staying awake at work during night shift

  • Kati’s “meal times” for night shift
    • 2230 or 2300 – snack
    • 0100 – lunch + coffee
    • 0500 – second snack
  • May want smaller more frequent meals throughout the shift if one large meal will make you sleepier
  • Take a 15-minute break to eat lunch, and then nap for your 30-minute break
  • Exercise every hour for a few minutes (5 minute wall sits, 20 jumping jacks, lunges)

Sleep planning on night shift

  • Must be intentional; you can’t just sleep when you’re tired
  • The healthiest way to go about nights is to go to bed late (2-3 am) and get up around 10-11 am, so they are still getting the necessary total, but are awake during a good portion of each of the day and night
  • Flipping means going back to resting during the night, awake during the day
  • Three ways to go about this
    • 1. Awake every night, asleep every day
    • 2. Flip for when there are 2+ nights off in a row
    • 3. Flip every night
  • Pay your dues on nights, then apply for days

More night shift nurse resources

All links on this site may be affiliate links and should be considered as such. FreshRN is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to See our privacy policy for more information.
Picture of Kati Kleber, founder of FRESHRN

Hi, I’m Kati.

Kati Kleber, MSN RN is a nurse educator, author, national speaker, host of the FreshRN® Podcast, and owner of FreshRN® – an online platform created to educate, encourage, and motivate newly licensed nurses in innovative ways.

Connect with her on YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, and sign-up for her free email newsletter for new nurses.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.