5 Perks to Working the Night Shift as a Travel Nurse

Health Carousel Travel Nursing
November 4, 2021
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Whether you are a first-time travel nurse or an expert in this specialty, working the night shift can be intimidating. Add navigating a new hospital in an unfamiliar city and the stress can be amplified. Fortunately, many benefits make working the night shift a great option during a travel nursing assignment. Here are five perks that will put your mind at ease about working nights 一 and may even have you requesting this rewarding shift.

Travel Nurses Work Independently

Travel nurses, by nature, enjoy working independently. The ability to quickly adapt and work autonomously is an essential quality for these healthcare heroes. In addition, having a positive attitude as you jump into a new and exciting role makes you a great asset.  

As the evening winds down, the night shift becomes free from the hustle and bustle of daytime staff, including management. Working independently without interference from leadership is a welcomed experience. Although there may be fewer resources available during the evenings, there is also less drama. Many travel nurses relish the freedoms that the night shift offers.

Do Travel Nurses Earn More Money at Night?

Depending on the assignment, many travel nurses can look forward to having bigger paychecks when working the night shift. An above-average salary, along with potentially tax-free money for housing, meals, and incidentals, make the night shift a lucrative option.

You can also ask your HCTN recruiter about sign-on bonuses, overtime pay, 401K programs, and medical insurance. The financial incentives of working as a travel nurse are substantial, and potentially more profitable working the night shift.

The Night Shift is a Slower Pace (Sometimes)

Although the emergency room and maternal health departments can be busy all hours of the night, many units experience a slower pace throughout the evening and overnight. Since there are fewer medications and procedures to manage, night nurses have more time to spend with patients who need extra attention. Once folks are tucked into bed, however, you may enjoy a low-key atmosphere with less stress.

Focusing on self-care during these slower shifts is an excellent way to pass the time. For example, getting up hourly to move your body, eating small protein-packed meals, and concentrating on fluid intake can increase general well-being. In addition, if you find sunshine helpful for improving your mood, you can bring a small SAD lamp for use during your downtime.

Enjoy More Opportunities to Learn at Night

You can also use this extra time to complete any competencies or training required by your hospital. Since travel nurses may have shorter hospital orientations compared to their permanent peers, getting organized and taking advantage of every available minute is helpful. Plus, the night shift provides a perfect opportunity to become more acquainted with your unit, workflow, and relevant policies. From locating supplies to learning the electronic medical record, the extra time afforded by working the night shift is invaluable.  

Travel Nurses Find Comradery on the Night Shift

Forming new relationships with your co-workers is also a perk of the slow-paced midnight hours. Night shift nurses are a tight-knit group as they often have time to share stories, experiences, and advice. However, during busier evenings, they band together and find the resources to provide excellent patient care. The collaboration formed between these nighttime teammates is unique compared to any other shift. Unlike their daytime peers, night nurses have a special connection envied by many.

These newfound relationships may also lend firsthand knowledge about the top places to visit in your desired location. Although your HCTN recruiter is knowledgeable about your destination, the friendships you forge working the night shift as a travel nurse will also provide companionship for your explorations.


Serenity Mirabito MSN, RN, OCN is a published health and wellness writer. Her extensive nursing knowledge and experience allow her to write reliable content for every audience.

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Health Carousel Travel Nursing

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