School of Nursing
Working the night shift as a registered nurse (RN) is not something that many individuals would consider an easy job. With the already existing stresses of the job being placed on the nurse, along with the added challenges of working against the body’s natural circadian rhythm and routine, there can be many detrimental side effects to the nurses. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate how RNs who work the night shift are dealing with the effects working the night shift has on them such as increased fatigue, as well as potential weight gain or weight loss. This was a descriptive survey study to evaluate how the nurses who work the night shift are affected, and what they do in response to these effects. The survey was conducted using the online software service, Qualtrics XM, and thirty-two RNs responded. Results of the survey supported the literature of the night shift affecting nurses in a negative sense with large percentages of participating nurses reporting lack of sleep, negative changes in their diet during the days they work the night shift, lack of exercise, and unexplained weight loss or weight gain since starting the night shift. Many nurses find preparing meals and using premade meals at work helps them maintain a healthier diet, but only a small percentage actually use this method, and an even smaller percentage focus on making the meals with proper nutrients. Many reported using caffeine or high-sugar drinks throughout most of their shifts and felt their performance would drop if they did not have these beverages.
Elkins, Gareth T., "The Impact of the Night Shift on the Well-being of Nurses and Ways to Mitigate Them" (2021). Honors Capstones. 1208.
Northern Illinois University