Why do night nurses make more money?

This topic contains 15 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Risky Business Risky Business 1 year, 9 months ago.

  • Author
  • #3773 Reply
    Risky Business
    Risky Business

    I have a question about nurses who work nights and why they get paid more than day shift workers. I work in a very busy ICU where we have a lot to do on days. Tons of  patients with multiple drips, labs, admits and discharged and I often don’t get lunch or my breaks.

    I get off at 7:30pm and once I’ve given report the night nurses always have something crappy to say or they just look at you like they could gauge your eyes out merely because you tell them there’s an extra antibiotic to give.


    Now I know I’m gonna make some people mad by talking about night nurses, especially in a night nurse group, but I’m honestly tired of night nurses thinking that they somehow shouldn’t have to do half as much as the day shift even though they get a shift differential for working nights and end up making more than me.


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  • #3775 Reply
    Smarty Pants
    Smarty Pants

    one of the reasons they get paid more is because they have to offer an incentive to nurses to get them to be willing to work the crazy hours and although you may feel they don’t do as much as you, their life is a bit rougher because they work nights.

    They don’t get to sleep during the night like most people, unlike day nurses they have to stay up all night and regardless of how long you’ve been on nights you’ll never sleep as well during the day as you would at night. To me, that alone is worth being paid more.

    It’s not easy working nights just like it’s not easy working days.  And nurses who work nights do get busy too.  People don’t wait till day shift comes in to code

  • #3776 Reply
    Smart Fox
    Smart Fox

    They get paid more because they work a horrible shift. I would never want to work that shift. They can have it. Their only consolation is that nights are typically quieter.  It’s not worth any amount of money for me to work nights

    • #3840 Reply


      There are several things the day time nurses need to remember,(I hate nights just to clarify) however I have worked many..I am am ER nurse and believe me when I say Er is busier at hs.Secondly daytime nurses you have all the help in the world if you get into a jam at night it is just the bare bones staff,no mangers no extra help just the bare bones,night time nurses are very resourceful, they don’t have the option to call ancillary depts to be their Superman why because most of those depts also are bare bone crew,so before we bash night nurses for making a little more money then we do perhaps we should think about what all they actually do.

  • #3777 Reply

    I gladly gave up nights to enjoy my normal life again. A few bucks more wasn’t worth it for me. Unless you’re a night owl then you will never settle into working nights. IMO

  • #3778 Reply
    Magic Hands
    Magic Hands

    You should work night before you judge others. If you haven’t then you have no clue what you’re talking about.  Working nights screws up your whole life and causes you not to be able to sleep well. Even on your days off you usually have to stay on a night shift schedule just so  you can sleep otherwise you have to stay up on the first off day all day as well as already being up all night.

    It’s no fun and I think we deserve to be paid more.

  • #3779 Reply
    Aye Nurse
    Aye Nurse

    Wow, you have no clue what you’re talking about. Nights are extremely difficult and emergencies happen in the ICU regardless of what time it is. night nurses are on a skeleton crew and have to think on their feet a lot more because the doctors aren’t just right there. Then when we have to talk to one we’re forced to wake up grouchy physicians who are very intimidating and nasty when woken up. Certainly not a walk in the park at all. I’ve done both and prefer days any day of the week.

  • #3808 Reply


    My circadian rhythm is well adjusted to night mode, 30 years night shift my perks:

    1.  No managers

    2.  Clients asleep, except this past full moon… Wth happened

    3.  Mediocre shift premium

    4.  Usually get to work with other night owls

    5.  I have an accommodation for nights only

    6.  Did I say, no managers, at least not mine, muhaaaaahaa

    7.  Acute interventions mostly, and yes there are codes sometimes, but that is health care…

    I love my nights working


  • #3809 Reply

    Wendy R Hair

    I have worked both day & nights. Nights tend to be quieter at times but they can be just as hectic as the days, although you don’t have to deal with a lot of ancillary staff and family/visitors as you do on days.

  • #3820 Reply

    Bernadette Tait

    Because very few want to work unsociable hrs!!!!!

  • #3841 Reply

    Kelley Perine

    Nightshift is just as busy as dayshift anymore. I rarely get my break either. Everything is 24/7 now , so no need to wait for dayshift to make appts, order labs, schedule procedures, get orders, call doctors, etc. Only nightshift has less staff to do it with, and then we are to exhausted to tend to our own lives, and miss out on alot of family stuff. So if they dont pay more, no one will take those shifts.

  • #3842 Reply

    Ashley Gallington

    I’ve worked both shifts and it’s much harder on your body and your family life at night so I agree they deserve more money.
    Otherwise it’s just not worth the trouble.
    I made more money and still switched back to days because you basically have no life on night shift.

  • #3849 Reply

    Lauren West

    Night shift is hard on your body. I personally usually vomit between 3-4am. It makes me nauseous. You are sometimes extremely busy and have less staff to deal with it. Plus then you sleep during the day as a single mother thats a lot of hours childcare all night then all day to. You cannot really have much of a ‘day’ life unless you choose not to sleep which i find impossible. This is just my opinion.

  • #3850 Reply


    No matter what shift you work, you work your butt off. As a night shift nurse all I can say is the patients do not know the difference between night and day and we run around just as much as day shift, with the added bonus of getting screamed at for waking some doctor in the middle of the night for orders.

  • #3851 Reply


    That WHOPPING extra cash we get for working 12 hour nights. Sorry… dumb question.

  • #3854 Reply
    Risky Business
    Risky Business

    Well, I guess there are some truths to what you all say, but I still think that the work is much harder on days and night shift pretty much has it made. Ask them to do one thing and they get all bent out of shape and they still make more money than I do. I still don’t see how that’s fair even if they don’t sleep as well because they work nights, it’s not my fault they chose to work nights

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