Tips for a New Night Shift Nurse
Welcome to the dark side! Our phenomenal ICU nurse Annie has been a night shift nurse for six years and loves it. She gives advice for a new night shift nurse in this blog!
Drink Lots of Water
One tip for a new night shift nurse is to drink lots of water before you leave for your shift! It sometimes gets so busy that you don’t have time to sit down and drink that water. So, try and at least get a glass before you leave the house! I personally try to have a cup of coffee or some type of caffeine and pack a nice big bottle of water. Honestly, some days the water bottle is empty and gets refilled and some days it stays full all shift. We have to be prepared for all scenarios.
I always try to have some easy portable snacks for when I don’t have time to eat a full dinner. I like snacks like cliff bars because it has high fiber and high protein. These are nice when you only have time to snack in between running to rooms on shift. I also love fruit snacks, because who doesn’t love fruit snacks! Goldfish are great portable snacks too. I like snacks like these because they are pretty quick to eat and they are easy to throw in my bag and go!
Careful About Caffeine
I love my caffeine, but you have to be careful! A mistake a new night shift nurse may make is pounding caffeine past 3 a.m. I promise you, you will not be able to go to bed when you get home in the morning. Stop drinking caffeine around 3 a.m. and instead drink water or keep moving to stay awake. Nothing is worse than getting home and realizing you can’t fall asleep.
Get Good Sleep
Getting good sleep is important for you to perform your best! This is especially crucial if you work more than one shift in a row. On your first night of night shift try and go to bed late and sleep in so you’re not completely drained your first shift! There are some things I use to help me sustain deep sleep. I like to sleep with a weighted eye mask. It’s soothing and it feels so nice and luxurious. I have a sound machine that helps me escape into REM. My sound machine has different noises, I like the rainforest the best. I also have blackout curtains which I got from Walmart for dirt cheap. These are a must-have for night shift nurses! Sleep tight!
If you loved Annie’s content you can also follow her on TikTok. She posts relatable nursing content, tips and tricks, and would love to connect and answer more questions!