10 ways you know you’re a night shift nurse

Not to say that night shift nurses are a totally different breed, but you do tend to relate to the werewolf thing!

10 ways you know you’re a night shift nurse

1. Caffeine is a basic food group.

2. Any light of any kind hurts!

3. You completely dread lawnmowers.

4. When a patient asks you why you’re still awake, you wonder the same thing.

5. You can say, “I’ll try to let you rest” to a patient while thinking, That’s really hard to do at night.

6. You completely get the werewolf thing.

7. You love that the traffic is so much less.

8. Breakfast specials…need I say more?

9. The sun comes up and you get restless.

10. The thought of leaving the best shift ever makes you feel like you’re going to die.

This list is by Christine Blair, Staff Nurse.

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28 Responses to 10 ways you know you’re a night shift nurse

  1. Kim

    Love it! The shift that will shorten you lifespan the fastest, but this is truly survival of the fittest, and yes, the strongest do survive and guess what? THEY WORK NOCS!!!

  2. Seveline Estrella

    This is the best shift ever! no stress at all! I can do everything I want in the daytime too.

  3. Carrie

    11. You have no idea what your department manager, the DON or the CEO truly look like and you don’t especially care.

    12. You giggle uncontrollably when someone new to the shift asks how to contact transportation or if dietary is available.

    13. You see absolutely nothing wrong with eating a steak or lasagna and drinking a beer at 0800.

    • mommanurse1973

      Awesome additions

    • neonghost7 Student

      Your number 13 cracks me up. I get off at 9am and after a particularly bad shift there is nothing stopping me from having a glass (bottle) of wine or a mixed drink. My husband thinks I’m nuts until I remind him to switch the am and pm and it works. A drink at 9PM is totally normal.

    • shadowchaser360

      Absolutely true! :)

    • CJ Cain

      Sad, but true, lol

  4. martha

    You ask bill collectors for there call back number so you can call them back during your day time.

    • dragonfly

      You call the financial rep on your 3am break to discuss the 401K plan she called you about, at 1pm, three days in a row and she asks you: Do you know what time it is?
      You respond by telling her, Yes, I am on a 5min break 8hrs into a 12hour shift and ready to discuss the 401K PLAN!!!

  5. Nights…oh, how that was the creator of never ending gritty eyes, never ending need to sleep, 13 patient to nurse assignments, I still say…” I don’t know how I got through it.” Bless all nurses, but night nurses are a very very special breed!

    • Zettajoe

      HAHHAHAHA 13??!?!? I got 24 to 26 patients on my night shifts! And 14 on my 0700/1500 (PR) shifts. 😂😂

      And I really don’t know how I can finish those shifts and still have strenght to go to the beach and hang out!

  6. melissa RN

    12. And, although you’ve worked there for years, the department manager,DON, or CEO has no idea what you look like either–and that’s a good thing!

    • neonghost7 Student

      I have that where I work! Some of the other managers in different houses have no clue who I am. The people who work in the office don’t recognize me. My core group supervisor, who comes to every single staff meeting, thought I was a visitor one morning. They don’t know me and I’ll keep it that way.

  7. jacque RN

    You no your a night shift nurse when caffeine is not needed to get you through the night.

  8. PAJ RN

    13. You come to “all staff meetings” in jeans, T-shirt, and oversize sunglasses

    14. Your shift description includes: testing all nursing equipment, cleaning client wheelchairs, ordering all needed supplies, etc., and by the way, take care of the patients in your free time!

    15. You get asked if you are a vampire by friends

  9. NicoleA Student

    …When you are as pale as a ghost.
    …When people think you are older than you actually are because you have bags under your eyes.
    …When you eat breakfast at 2am, lunch at 7am, and supper whenever you wake up before work.
    …When your friends ask you if your a vampire.

    I use to work 6p-6a as a CNA. I gained almost twenty pounds because I would snack the whole shift. It got to the point where I couldn’t sleep at all, even on my days off. I switched to evening shift, lost the weight, and got back to a better sleeping schedule. I pick up midnight shifts sometimes, but I would never do it full-time again.

    • kiblnurseaid CNA

      Yes yes yes, I totally get this! I’ve worked noc shifts as a CNA and I’m finally down to the wire, I only have 12 hours left of noc’s and then I get to go to full-time evenings!!!

  10. mybabematt

    Love it, but need to add………you know you are a night shift nurse when you dread the time change if you are working that Saturday night.

  11. Flora Scott

    I am a night nurse and I agree only the strong survive! It is tough at times! Love it when my residents where I work say “before you go to bed” and tell us what they need or want us to do.

  12. WebRomeo

    Being that I have had a loved one of whom had a gall bladder operation, hernia and brain operation, this has been the biggest impact on me! Also a recent relative has had strokes & heart attacks! All in all I love being there for them as they are a part of me that will remain in my heart!

  13. neonghost7 Student

    I’m an overnight DSA/CST. Some nights it sucks, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I have my cleaning and duties down to a fine science. I come in and start my job. Have everything done as soon as possible so I don’t get behind if a client decides that 3am is a perfect time to BM all over their bed and Picasso it on the walls. It gets lonely as I am here by my self and not getting to spend time with my family is a major downer, but I am solely responsible for my entire shift. I don’t have to worry about other coworkers not doing their jobs. I transfered to this shift since I have sleep problems and would usually be up until 5am anyway. It is perfect for me while I am going to school since I can find small times to study while I am working. Its a love/hate relationship but I couldn’t imagine changing. Been on this same shift for 4 years in March and I’m not going anywhere.

  14. jalyc

    You also can sleep anywhere, like on a full beach or up in stirrups while waiting for your GYN.

  15. kitsuna

    After three years of retirement, I still can’t sleep at night. It’s unnatural, and against my religion.

  16. williegrl

    Prior to retiring, I was never able to work @ night, because i simply can’t sleep in the daytime . Several years ago I went back to work part time because I missed the joy of nursing-nuts right? Now working the night shift is my preference. We work hard as a team. I have incredible respect for the young nurses, a lot who are working nights because they have a family, or are going to school. We learn from each other, and have some incredible experiences. I am no longer caught up in the day shift drama, and the administrative woes. Less back biting on nights as well, we need each other too much! These kids I work with have brought life back to this old broad!

  17. shanda

    I have fallen asleep during a James bond movie at the theater and at a buck cherry concert and no alcohol was involved

  18. NightyNurse

    Absolutely relate! Thanks for the smile.

  19. Irina

    My Facebook logo: I have too much blood in my caffeine system”

  20. Crossbow98

    14. With just one whiff, you can tell whether the coffee is fresh or three hours old

    15. The guys at the Starbucks drive in know you by your first name.


    17. Parking is not a hassle