New Grad: 2 FT Jobs?

  1. I just moved to another state and took my first nursing job (I'm in my third month). Unfortunately, I accrued a lot of debt in nursing school and was carrying some from before school, and, put bluntly, I'm not making enough money to cover my expenses. It's not just a matter of missing the boat by a few dollars...I'm seriously overwhelmed financially.

    Being in my first year, I can't yet (and wouldn't want to) do per diem or travel nursing. The other option that's presented itself is to take another full-time new grad job.

    Both of the hospitals I'd work at are teaching hospitals with solid new grad orientation programs and managable patient loads. Both also have self-scheduling, so I could coordinate my shifts between the two hospitals.

    I've always worked a ton. In nursing school (an accelerated BSN program) I worked two part-time jobs, and before that worked about 65 hours per week while taking prerequisites. Beyond the financial issues, I'm finding that four days off per week is way too much. I'm getting bored and also can't even enjoy those days because I can't do anything. Anyway, I haven't worked less than six days per week in years and have gone weeks on end without a day off at all.

    Is this a horrendous idea? It's partially a move made out of desperation...but on the other hand, I think it would cool to work in two different environments (both med-surg) and I would certainly learn more quickly. I'm certain that I would be safe in both environments despite the workload, and I wouldn't do it forever, just until my debt is paid off (ideally, in about a year).

    What say you?
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   RN BSN 2009
    Be careful for burnout! Maybe it would be better to just take the one full time, and do the other one part time, and see how it goes from there? It's better to take it slowly than to crash and burn and lose both of them!
  4. by   Pachinko
    I thought about part time, but unfortunately, I don't think they hire new grads part time.

    I see travel agencies willing to hire new grads, but I wouldn't feel safe walking into a completely new environment without training because I just don't know enough yet. At least with a second new grad job, I'd go through full orientation and have that leverage to ask tons of questions and learn.
  5. by   Mission
    I'm a new grad with a part-time and a full-time job. My part-time job is at a SNF and pays better than any of my friends hospital jobs. You can also look into home health nursing or a visiting nurses service. Some times there are patients that live at home that require 24 hour nursing care, since you are always with the same patient you'll learn what you need to know fairly quickly.
  6. by   Pachinko
    Thank you, mission! I sent you a PM with a few more questions and hope that's ok.
    Last edit by Pachinko on Dec 16, '06
  7. by   RNSuzq1
    Hi Pachinko,

    I don't know your situation - if you have children to care for, etc., but for anyone, working 2 full-time jobs would be rough. I work with a few Nurses who have full-time jobs at another hospital and are in our flex-pool, sign up for x-amount of hours per month. Since they aren't full-time and don't get benefits, they're paid a higher rate, much higher on weekends, so that might be a better option for you than burning yourself out holding down 2 full-time positions... Good Luck, Sue
  8. by   mom2michael
    Several of us in our graduating class are working PRN at LTC's to cover vacation, call in's, etc....
  9. by   PANurseRN1
    How about loan consolidation/consumer credit counseling? There was another thread about this topic, and almost to a man the response was "Don't do it." It's a fast-track to burnout/getting sick. If you make a mistake that harms a pt. because you are overtired, what will you say?
  10. by   Pachinko
    mom2michael, are the demands of the LTC job less than in a hospital? My concern is that I don't want to get into a situation that is too complex for a new grad (who doesn't have a preceptor working with him).
  11. by   mom2michael
    Quote from Pachinko
    mom2michael, are the demands of the LTC job less than in a hospital? My concern is that I don't want to get into a situation that is too complex for a new grad (who doesn't have a preceptor working with him).
    I think everything is complex for a new grad.....around here where I live, most of the good LTC's that are new grad supportive are ran by previous grads of my program. I think that makes a huge difference because they really work with them to make sure they get all the support they need.

    Those who have persued this PRN route have loved it - but it's hard work with very little orientation compared to hospital work.
  12. by   GrnHonu99
    Why not just work overtime at your one job? I just took a new grad job and trust me there is TONS of opportunities for over time. Being so short on nurses most that I know dont have a hard time getting overtime if they want. In fact at my hosp. if you go on call you get double time. Its the norm on my floor to work your three days and put yourself on call one more day...make x2 your pay..nice. It would do you more good to work 2 extra days at your current job making OT pay even if you have to float?
  13. by   Pachinko
    Thanks again, mom2michael. I'm going to check out some SNFs and LTCs and see what they have to offer--there are so many in my area that I'm thinking there must be something out there for me!

    ELKMNin06, I'm definitely interested in OT (and would actually make more doing that than at a second, full-time job), but I'm trying to figure out what the needs of the unit are. I've been told it's fine to sign up for it, but you often get called off (I work at a big teaching hospital where there isn't much of a nurse shortage). Also, I think I'm too new to float...but I haven't asked, so I'll pursue that question with my manager.

    I really appreciate all of these tips--it's is so good to hear from people who've had more experience and are generous with sharing it. I know things will be smoother in a year when I'm more experienced, but getting by right now is rough.

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