Can a new grad work part time or per diem?

  1. I will be graduating nursing school soon, and was wondering if it is crazy to want to work part time or per diem after graduating. I have 2 young children at home, have been a stay at home mom for their entire life, and scheduling around my husband's hours would be easier part time.

    I currently am working at a hospital as a Nurse Apprentice on a Med/Surg unit, but my real love in nursing is L & D.

    Do new grads get hired part time, or should I plan on juggling things so I can work full time for at least a year as a new grad?

    Thanks for any opinions!!
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   RN4NICU
    Generally, at least one year of full-time employment is required for new grads before they are allowed to work part time or per diem.
  4. by   incublissRN
    :yeahthat:

    Usually they want full time orientation and full time work for about a year. You learn so much during that first year. It would be really hard to adjust and learn things if you were working part time.
  5. by   rn/writer
    You can probably find a part-time position, but I wouldn't advise going per diem. With part-time work, you will have a somewhat regular schedule--an essential for orienting with any kind of sanity--and you will be able to count on a certain amount of income. With per diem, you'll be the first to be cut and that may sharply affect your learning curve.

    Per diem is an option once you have your legs firmly under you on the unit you'll be working. It is NOT a good situation while you're learning. The very flexibility that is helpful down the road can bite you at this early stage of your career.

    I know of many new grads who started out part time. I can't think of a single situation where I saw someone fresh out of school doing per diem.
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    Yep, part-time is very doable. We need nurses at my hospital - we will bend over backwards for you.

    I worked full-time and actually more than that when I first graduated and burned out fast plus I missed my kids. My boys were playing football then and I couldn't miss their games and I therefore had very little sleep.

    There are positions available - you can even go into L&D in some places. After a good orientation of course.

    I applaud you for wanting to be there for your kids.

    steph
  7. by   incublissRN
    It must depend on the area because I don't know of any new grads working part time.

    Good luck on your job search! I hope you find something that works out well for you.
    Last edit by incublissRN on Apr 11, '07
  8. by   tencat
    I've been full time for eight months, but am going part time in May. I can't handle full time nights. So, I imagine it is possible to go part time, but maybe after you've worked for a while full time. It depends on how desperate your area is for nurses.
  9. by   bcyogi
    Thanks for all the information. Guess I will have to see what is available when graduation is a bit closer and SOMEHOW work with whatever I need to. Full time is doable, just would require a lot of juggling and some babysitting from my mom. Guess I should start asking/bribing her now, eh?
  10. by   Imafloat
    Quote from bcyogi
    Thanks for all the information. Guess I will have to see what is available when graduation is a bit closer and SOMEHOW work with whatever I need to. Full time is doable, just would require a lot of juggling and some babysitting from my mom. Guess I should start asking/bribing her now, eh?
    I had a similar situation, I was always a SAHM or only worked part time. I am full time now, but I plan on going to part time or per diem when I am able to. I am using my full time earnings to pay off my bills, when they are paid off and my student loans are half what I owe on them, I will go to part time.

    It is sometimes hard for me to work full time, mostly because I am selfish and am not used to having to be somewhere 36-40 hours a week.
  11. by   rnmomtobe2010
    Good Luck!!!!
  12. by   Lorelai22RN
    I dont know of any place that let new grads work PRN.........I think that most places want a year under your belt.......and part time usuall requires a year too. But I have heard of some places that will let you do part time, fresh out.........but I agree with the poster who said that the first year is critical and you need some stability to so you learn the ropes......I wouldnt recommend a brand new nurse go PRN without at least a year of experience because it's kind of unsafe and risky......think about how different school is from reality, think about your license, so even if someone offered a newbie PRN........I wouldnt take it. I will have been working a year in June.......I still feel like I have a lot to learn but I do feel like I have learned alot.......I am gonna go PRN after my year is up on my med/tele unit and try to get a job in mother/baby full time. Think I might like that better!!
  13. by   yecart1
    In my area we have One small hospital, the only way to get your foot in the door is per diem. Then you can see the postings and bid on them.

    While it's difficult because I don't work every week, except on orientation, it isn't that hard. You don't learn as much, but also you get to work as much or take a break if you need to.

    I would love part time, but with all of the senority realistically it could be awhile for me.

    I love per diem because I get to work with many different people, in different areas and knowing that I am per diem they are so considerate in asking/giving me help. They don't give me the hardest patients. They know I'm pretty 'green'. I love it.

    Do whatever you feel you can handle. If your kids are young now spend as much time as you can. My kids are a bit older and don't mind. I was fortunate to beable to stay at home.

    I understand about wanting to pay off bills and school loans. I'm in the same situation.

    Good luck in finding what is right for you.

    Tracey
  14. by   RNsRWe
    I'd have to echo what the others said about not working part time, or per-diem for quite a while. The local hospitals near me don't even hire new grads per diem, as they wouldn't get orientation time in any organized manner. Same for part-time: not enough orientation done in a timely fashion. And your orientation experience seems to be key to success. What you learn and who you learn it from, how you learn it, is crucial.

    Have you considered nightshift? Depending on the needs of your children, and potential babysitting arrangements, your husband can work days and you'd only have to do a few nights a week (if you do 12 hour shifts). Our nightshifts are FULL of moms who do it for that very reason.

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