Nurses play a vital role in our healthcare system, providing care and support to patients around the clock. And while the job can be demanding and the hours long (60-65% of nurses work 12-hour shifts), nursing is also incredibly rewarding. That said, there has been a long-running debate on whether a day or night shift is better, as both have their pros and cons. Keep reading to get more insights on day vs. night shifts to see which might be the better choice for you and your schedule.
Nursing Day Shifts
Day Shift Benefits
Regular Sleep Habits: One advantage is that you will likely find it easier to stay awake and alert during daylight hours. Additionally, your natural sleep schedule will not be as disrupted as it would be if you worked night shifts.
Collaborate with Team: You are most likely to work with more people during the day. When you are working with more people, you have the opportunity to ask questions, learn more, and enhance your skills personally and as a team.
More Opportunities for Personal Time: Most people work during the day, so if you also work during the day, it allows more time with friends and family. If you work night shifts, you are most likely to sleep during the day and work during the night.
More Job-Related Focus
Many people find that they have more energy and focus during the day, allowing them to finalize the day’s tasks.
Day Shift Cons
Less Flexibility: You may have less flexibility with your hours, as most day shift positions are during traditional business hours.
Getting Up Early: Some day shifts can start as early as 5 am. Of course, you can pick and choose which shifts you’d like to pick up, but if you are not a morning person, these early shifts can be a challenge.
Traffic: Day shifts are common in most workplaces, so you may encounter a lot more traffic that can make your commute difficult.
Nursing Night Shifts
Night Shift Benefits
Slower Pace: Typically, night shifts are less busy than day shifts, so nurses may have more time to provide individualized care to their patients.
Higher Pay: Some jobs that come up at night have the potential to pay more. Depending on your hours, location, and certifications.
Faster Commute: The hours you work during a night shift are during hours when others are not commuting to work, so you do not have to worry as much about encountering traffic.
Night Shift Cons
Challenging Sleep & Social Schedules: Working nights can be disruptive to your sleeping and eating patterns. Night shifts can also make it hard to maintain social relationships.
Fewer People on Staff: Fewer people work night shifts, so there is the potential that management staff is light as well. Therefore, you may have fewer people to call on during an emergency.
Childcare: If you have young children at home and don’t have a caregiver available, it can be difficult to find a babysitter or night care during nighttime hours.
So, is a Day or Night Shift Better For You?
Ultimately, the decision comes down to your own preferences and what will work best for your lifestyle. If you are struggling to decide, Vantage Healthcare Staffing provides 24/7 support. We work hard to ensure we are always available so our staff has an amazing experience with Vantage 24/7!