A mention of working the night shift often conjures a frown or a thumbs down. And the nickname the "graveyard shift" does not help to redeem the late shift image. But when one delves into a travel nurse's realities working overnight in acute care or hospital setting, many benefits rise to the surface. Advantages such as—
1. You will make more money. Most companies pay a premium to their employees for working the night shift. This paycheck differential certainly has its appeal, and over time, it can significantly impact the family's finances.
2. Enhanced sense of comradeship. The camaraderie of the night shift team is unique, creating a bond and a commitment to each other that is undeniable. The low-key atmosphere of the night shift aids in cultivating valuable, lasting friendships.
3. Fewer distractions and disruptions. Due to fewer visitors, phone calls, etc., working overnight can result in a quieter workplace. While this does not mean working the night shift is slow, productivity can benefit from the increased focus a quieter setting affords. In fact, nurses working the night shift often have extra responsibilities such as lifting and turning patients independently.
4. Opportunities to build one's skillset. Especially if you are a new travel nurse, working the night shift can provide opportunities to float to different units allowing you to gain experience and build your skillset. The night shift also often offers ample opportunity for mentoring.
5. Less competition. In general, fewer people seek out the graveyard shift, opening the door of opportunity and accelerating the climb up the ladder.
6. Reduced commute time! The opportunity to trade rush hour traffic for nearly deserted roadways allows for more family or "me" time.
7. More hours in the day. Once they settle into the routine, many night-shifters feel like they have more time for other endeavors such as going to the gym or revisiting a neglected hobby.
8. Time to pursue further education. Working at night often makes it more convenient to schedule the classes needed to finish one's degree, seek certifications, or upgrade training.
9. A multitude of parenting-friendly options. Working the night shift allows parents to focus more attentively on the needs of the family. While the day shift has one returning to the family as busy schedules pull in many extra-curricular directions and the rush of dinner, homework, and bedtime beckons, working the night shift allows for a more relaxed evening. Also, when parents work opposite shifts, children glean the benefit of individual time with both parents as well as family time.
So, is the night shift right for you? The only way to truly know is to give it a try. Beth Jordan, Senior Travel Nurse Recruiter, encourages travel nurses to test the waters. "Don't base your decision on one or two shifts of night work. Rather, give it a few weeks, and don't be afraid to ask questions."
The LeaderStat team is standing by to help you find your next travel nurse assignment.