Final Comments

Society needs nurses to provide critical nursing services around the clock. As a result, shift work is a necessary part of nursing.

The scientific community recognizes the challenge that nurses on shift work face: the need to work at night (when our physiology sets us up to sleep) and sleep during the day (when our body is normally active). It can be done, but this requires a concerted effort by both nurses and their managers.

The goal of this training is to pass along suggestions for doing this better. Applying the information currently available can provide some improvement in your health and well-being when working shifts and long hours.

However, science has not answered all of the questions in this area, so remember to look periodically for new findings as they become available. A very active community of scientists is working on these issues to help the large number of shift workers who provide healthcare and other vital services for society around the clock.