12 Tips For Nurses Working The Overnighter

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

Working an overnight shift can take some getting used to and isn’t always an easy transition for an internal clock that is used to being awake during the day and sleeping at night. Many of our home care nurses work with children that require extended hours of care, meaning overnight shifts are regularly needed and they need to be alert and ready to care for the child at any moment. Having a few tricks up their sleeve to stay alert throughout those overnight shifts can be a huge benefit, so we wanted to share some of our best tips with nurses working in the same scenario.

If you’re a nurse working overnight shifts, print these off, highlight the ones that work best for you, or share your own in the comments below! Know a nurse working night shifts? Share this with them – they’ll thank you for it.


 What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.


  1. I totally agree with Jayne. I have been at the patient bedside for 33 years and health care is the “new mass assembly line-24/7.” Retirement can’t come soon enough! The tips in this article are quite helpful and I use many of them as I have worked the night shifts off and on over my career. Staying hydrated and eating light snacks,when possible, certainly helps me. Also getting at least 6 hours of sleep keeps my brain shaper.

  2. I have worked night shift for over 10 years and have found that getting ay least 6-8 hours sleep helps keep me awake for my next shift. It also helps if you are naturally a night owl. I have friends who sleep on average 7-8 hours and they are barely able to stay awake. Hot tea helps to keep me awake versus coffee. I also do small bursts of jumping jacks or running in place of i do start to feel sleepy.

  3. You start off your story/ hints with a picture of the Emergency Room entrance. I don’t know what CEC / ER your working in as a Nurse. But I’m lucky if I get a chance to go to the restroom.

    I have seen the Nurses that do bedside care at a retirement facility or home health environment have use for your hints.

    Some of what you talk of are important. But in todays world Henry Fords auto industry conveyor assembly line comes to mind more and more each day.

    Been in Nursing for 34 years. Looking forward to retirement. And letting the kids run it!

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