Working night shift has its downsides, but there are many perks that most people don’t realize. Sure, you might lose the sense of a sleeping/eating routine for a few days, be on a different schedule than the rest of the world, and have a hard time adjusting but it can be worth it. Aside from the negatives, many nurses learn to recognize the many night shift benefits and actually prefer it in comparison to the day shift.
Dealing with the aftermath of the night shift can be hard, but also surviving it, to begin with, can be difficult for a new night nurse. Remember to keep up with your own health along with your patients, and keep these night shift benefits in mind when you start to question your choice.
6 Night Shift Benefits for Nurses
1. Less human traffic
Let’s be honest, the thought of less human interaction with non-patients probably excites you. There’s less management, no PT, OT, or other services, and fewer visitors. With less management, nurses even snack in the unit. What rebels.
With no PT, OT, or other services you don’t have to deal with someone asking the same dreaded question, “How’s he doing?” Most of the time, you don’t even know who the patient is or who’s asking due to the lack of specifics. This leaves you with fewer disturbances throughout your shift and allows more time focusing on providing treatment to your patients.
Families and visitors are known to drive nurses crazy, so not having to deal with them is a huge plus in all of the night shift benefits. You won’t have to cater to family member needs or provide answers that they won’t understand anyway, and you will be able to better care for your patient. Some family members stay past visiting hours, but there are certainly less of them than during the day shift.
2. Higher pay
One of the main night shift benefits and reasons nurses choose the shift is the increased pay. Depending on state laws, pay can increase by 10% and even more if you are working on weekends. Most night shift jobs offer $4-5 more as the shift differential. If you’re looking to make a little more money, night shift nursing could be a great option. If you don’t have much to do on a holiday or weekend, definitely consider picking up a night shift then as well.
3. Decreased elevator wait time
This might seem like a small factor for non-nurses, but think about how much time you waste on elevators. Waiting for and on elevators during the day takes up substantial time for nurses. There are tons of people in a hospital at any given moment trying to get from place to place.
More people moving around means more stops on elevators, and longer wait time to even get an elevator. Once you finally get to where you need to go, you’re already dreading the thought of doing it all over again. With less human traffic in general, elevator times dramatically decrease and will give you more time doing important things, such as caring for your patient.
4. Increased patient care
While all of these night shift benefits can lead to increased patient care, it deserves its own number. Patient care is the most important part of your job. Knowing that you are providing the best care possible is a great feeling. There are fewer people and things cutting into your time with patients. Family members aren’t babbling while you’re trying to properly treat the patient, and people aren’t asking you questions non-stop. You will not only have more time for your patient, but you’ll be in a better mood to provide great care.
5. More teamwork
This may be because there are less “watchers” on the night shift, but also because people rely on each other more. Night shift workers are known to get in there and get sh*t done, so it’s not a problem to help others. It also provides a more fostering environment for friendships. While night shifts can be busy, they are less tense and hectic and allow for more positive interactions.
6. Better parking spots
Again, some people might not care about this, but it still should be pointed out. You don’t have to worry about hurrying to find a parking spot or trying to get out during the evening rush. If anything, you’re leaving while people are rushing to get in. Some hospitals also lighten parking restrictions during the night shift, as there are fewer people in general.