March 9, 2023

How To Prepare For Daylight Saving Time as a Nurse

How To Prepare For Daylight Saving Time as a Nurse

If you’re a night shifter, you know that one of the hardest nights to work is Daylight Savings. Yeah, it’s great in the spring when your shift is only 11 hours but the dreaded “Fall Back” means an extra hour of night shift craziness.

This year, Daylight Saving falls at 2 am on March 12, 2023

Here’s some tips for dealing with daylight savings time if you work the night shift. 

Daylight Saving Time

Ahh, Daylight Saving Time (DST). That time of year when sleep-deprived nurses get one more wrench thrown into their already busy lives.

Often incorrectly referred to as Daylight Savings Time, this seemingly minor adjustment can interrupt our circadian rhythms, confuse our charting, complicate our medication administration, and just mess with our workdays.

It’s amazing really, what a difference an hour makes.

Working an extra hour during night shift daylight savings

When is Daylight Saving Time?

DST in the United States begins at 2:00 am on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November at 2:00 am. 

That means that Daylight Saving Time 2022 begins in March and ends on November 6. 

Here’s the DST schedule for the next three years: 





March 12

November 5


March 10

November 4


March 9 

November 2

Search Nursing Schools Now

Night Shift Nurses And The Time Change

Interestingly, although we’ve had DST for decades, there still doesn’t seem to be a consensus on exactly how to handle it at hospitals.  And for night shift nurses, the change can be very disruptive to their lives and patient care.

Shifts and Pay

Private hospitals and for-profit hospitals tend to err on the side of whatever’s most convenient for them. The schedules stay the same, 

  • NOC shift nurses normally scheduled for 7 pm - 7 am would simply be paid one hour less during the spring and one hour more in the fall with the administration claiming ‘it all evens out.’ And it does even out. As long as you work both those nights.

Other hospitals take a more reasonable approach and pay nurses for the actual number of hours worked

  • For example, 11 hours in the spring and 13 hours in the fall. 

  • Another popular option is to keep the pay the same but allow the nurses to leave an hour early or ask them to stay for an extra hour. 

Nursing unions: If you’re part of a nursing labor union, you may be paid the full 12 hours in the spring and then 13 hours in the fall.