PRN nurses-need your advice!

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    I am currently a fulltime hospital nurse. Recently, my hosp offered a non-benefitted position which is called PRN - Tier 3, that is paying $40/hr, where you have to sign-up at least 3 days/week. All benefits are gone except the opportunity to contribute to 401k with a match of 3% (from 6% - if FTE).

    My hourly base salary will go up by 54%. If you are in my position, would you accept the offer, taking into consideration that I have to find my own individual insurance (with higher premiums), and I will be the 1st in line to be floated and cancelled. I haven't been floated to other areas for the last 3 years, I hate floating. But maybe thinking of the 54% increase in my salary, I'll just suck it up.... Also, I'll be losing my PTO's (23 days /year).

    Haven't been out of a group insurance. I have my whole family depending on my hospital's group insurance. Pretty healthy family, except husband has maintenance meds for HTN and high cholesterol. Any bad experiences with private health/dental insurance?

    Need your advice...I am tempted to grab the PRN job.

    Advices, thoughts..are all welcome.

    Thanks.
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  3. 16 Comments so far...

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    I think it would be a big risk to dump long term benefits if you are not 100% sure you will always get the 3 days per week. I don't know if alot of nurses will jump to PRN who may not need the medical insurance. I know good health coverage is hard to come by. I would really research insurance first to see how much it costs and what it would cover. If retirement is a concern 6% is double the 3%, but you would make more and that may even it out (i don't know). PRN sounds risky as far as what if FT nurses are hired and take good shifts. you may have no choice but to take night or evening shifts or even a mix of shifts. It's a hard decision and I wish you luck what ever you decide.
    ethelbsnrn likes this.
  5. 1
    Quote from joprasklpn
    I think it would be a big risk to dump long term benefits if you are not 100% sure you will always get the 3 days per week. I don't know if alot of nurses will jump to PRN who may not need the medical insurance. I know good health coverage is hard to come by. I would really research insurance first to see how much it costs and what it would cover. If retirement is a concern 6% is double the 3%, but you would make more and that may even it out (i don't know). PRN sounds risky as far as what if FT nurses are hired and take good shifts. you may have no choice but to take night or evening shifts or even a mix of shifts. It's a hard decision and I wish you luck what ever you decide.
    I agree! It seems like you'd be giving up more than you'd be gaining.
    ethelbsnrn likes this.
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    Thanks for your inputs joprasklpn and TurtleSoup. I'll think about it.
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    If you don't like floating it is unlikely you will end up happy in this job. Private insurance can be very expensive, especially since your husband has pre-existing conditions that are pre-cursors for CAD. If you are dependent on your income to live, low census can take all your savings when you keep getting cancelled.

    Money isn't everything.
    ethelbsnrn likes this.
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    Quote from RN1989
    If you don't like floating it is unlikely you will end up happy in this job. Private insurance can be very expensive, especially since your husband has pre-existing conditions that are pre-cursors for CAD. If you are dependent on your income to live, low census can take all your savings when you keep getting cancelled.

    Money isn't everything.
    Thanks RN1989 for your reply.

    So far, everybody discourages me to go the PRN route. I wonder what is the motivation of those IC nurses, travel, agency, registry nurses. Are they all contract (guaranted hours) ? Do all of them have group health insurance? Do they only do the PRN stuff as 2nd job?

    Any PRN, Agency, Travel Nurses, Independent Contractors there?:innerconf
  9. 1
    I work PRN med surg, but I don't need the health insurance.

    I work PRN because the work is exhausting and I want to be able to work as little as I can get away with. I work an 8 hour swing shift and I am so sore the next day from all the running I can hardly move and can't stand up straight.

    If I want to go somewhere I want to be able to go and not have to ask for time off or have to request time for a vacation 6 months in advance and maybe not even get the time I want.

    I do get canceled. So no work, no pay.

    There are times when I do work that I am on the team with the heaviest workload and I know that it is because the regular staff wants it that way. So dumping on the PRN does occur.

    I float all over the area.

    Some staff are resentful of prn, and think they make more money and so should get the heavier loads and what the regular staff doesn't want to do.

    The pay may be more an hour but there are no benefits, and those benefits are worth money. I get no PTO, no sick time, no vacation time, and I can't contribute to the retirement fund. So the regular staff probably make just as much if not more when you count in the benefits. Also, any of them could work PRN if they wanted to, they choose to work full time just like the PRN chooses to work PRN.

    I would check into the price of your own health insurance before you make a move. You may find that it is so expensive you won't be able to afford it.
    ethelbsnrn likes this.
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    double post
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    In some situations, the cost of benefits (healthcare, PTO, disability, etc) is almost equal to that of an employee's salary. I would suggest going to Human Resources and asking what the overall value of your compensation package is, and what COBRA coverage would cost you. You would be eligible (in most circumstances) to purchase your family's healthcare coverage thru your employer's group plan for the next 18 months. That would give you objective information on which to base your decision.
    ethelbsnrn likes this.
  12. 0
    I've spent a large portion of my career as PRN float pool or outside agency. When we were younger, we simply did not buy health insurance and prayed we didn't get into a car wreck or something. We have always depended on my job. When work is plentiful I've worked lots and lots of OT so that I would have savings to fall back on when I got cancelled. But you have to plan. And you have to be willing to work at the spur of the moment sometimes. And if you get cancelled during the week, even if you had plans to go have fun another day, you have to cancel your fun day and schedule to make up the lost day. I prefer agency for my sanity but it can make a crimp in your life if you aren't prepared for all the ins and outs of it.


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