You know you’re a night nurse when…

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Recently, many of you participated in’s “You Know You’re a Nurse When…” stethoscope giveaway contest. Although we were only able to pick four winners, many entries were so good that we wanted to share others.

Cathleen Moses, RN, submitted five indications that you are definitely a night nurse.

Five Ways You Know You’re a Night Nurse

1. You know you’re a night nurse when you open the box of chocolates that a family had left and all you see are two chocolate covered raisins hiding in the corner of the box.

2. You know you’re a night nurse when they call up and say that there won’t be a food cart tonight because they ‘forgot’ to leave one.

3. You know you’re a night nurse when you can identify everyone in the hospital on your shift, the evening shift and the day shift, but get glared at when you leave in the morning because no one knows who you are or why you’re there.

4. You know you’re a night nurse when you keep getting notices for not attending the staff meetings (held at 2pm).

5. You know you’re a night nurse when you come back on duty after a rough first post-op night with ‘Mr. Jones’ and find that he is doing much better. And that deep down you know that without you and your covering night team, he might not have gotten through.  I secretly take credit for that because I know as a night nurse I probably won’t ever get a pat on the back–and that’s OK because I know and that’s why I love my job as a night nurse.

Written by Cathleen Moses, RN

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16 Responses to You know you’re a night nurse when…

  1. Claudia

    You know your a night shift nurse when patient’s family write thank you cards and personally thank day shift nurses and evening shift nurses. NEVER a night shift nurse.

  2. Sharon

    When I was a patient five years ago, I took two baskets of goodies for the staff. One for the day shift and one for the night shift. Because being a night shift nurse at the time I knew that the night crew would not get any of the goodies. I also put a card of thanks in each basket. I’m working a Mon-Friday day shift job now, but am going back on nights as soon as possible. I miss nights so much!

  3. Kelly

    You know you are a night shift nurse when they have Nurse Appreciation Week luncheons (held in the middle of your sleep time) and you don’t get a gift because you weren’t there!

  4. Jeanne vacca

    You’ve signed up to teach BLS after your night shift ends.Fortunately you don’t have to work the next night.

  5. nana

    You know your a night shift nurse when you get to clean up the residual wrappers, trash and crumbs from the Nurses Appreciation Day Treats

  6. Trish

    Oh my God This is all so true.Why are we always forgotten ,never considered,and the previous shifts maid.My first Nursing job many years back on the Noc shift ,the DON would actually come in at night to hold the mandatory meetings for the night shift staff.Now that was a helluva DON.

  7. Emelie

    where would we be without the night shift nurse? Patients don’t take care of themselves!!

  8. lavonne davis

    love all the comments. but so true, only time u r reconized is when u dont make it to the meetings

  9. Sandra

    You know you are a night shift nurse when your supervisor refers to you as “the off shifters”, and everything is planned around THEIR schedules.

  10. catjmoses RN

    Wow, I just found this here. Might be better than a stethoscope! Thanks for acknowledging me and my thoughts. I do truly love working the night shift despite it’s faults. It’s all what we make it to be. Cathy

  11. AmyWLPN

    I’ve been a night shift nurse for years! Everything said in “five ways you know you’re a night nurse” is true! It’s kind of a thankless job but i can’t imagine ever working another shift…

  12. nursechilders LPN

    You know your a night shift nurse when you always run out of pudding or applesauce to mix with your crushed meds and you have to borrow from the snack cart.

  13. Diana 75

    You are right.
    we night nurses get little to no credit because , basically, no one knows we’re there. We do remarkable things with a skeleton crew, so you have to be really good at what youu do as you dont have that “backup” the other shifts have. Most of the time family aren’t there and very few know how wonderful we really. Long live the noc nurse!

  14. umrana00

    You know you’re a night shift nurse when you had two codes, three patients with diarrhea, a delirious liver patient constantly climbling out of bed because they are trying to catch the bugs on the wall, your supply cart is out of at least three items, you have no more draw sheets on the linen cart, you have to call three other nursing units to beg for supplies, did not eat lunch…. then the day shift comes in and complains “Why didn’t this patient get a bath? What did you DO all night long?” (sigh)

  15. ganurseleslie66 LPN

    IF you were ever awakened at 4 pm by a phone call from your childs teacher, and she asks in a condescending tone, “Are you COMING to get your CHILD?”

  16. happygirlrn064

    After years of being left out of all the fun luncheons and activities provided for day shift, we complained to the CEO and DON at a rare 0730 general hospital meeting. A few months later we were given a night shift prom complete with a really good dinner, gifts, games, and prom photos…great fun! Day shift didn’t like having to stay over an extra 30 minutes so we could stay for all of the fun.