Is there really a big advantage to being full time vs. PRN?

  1. 0
    Assuming you can still get full time hours as PRN... At my facility the pay is about $5 more per hour for PRN. I figure health insurance is roughly $200 a month.. Is full time still a better bet?

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  2. 11 Comments...

  3. 0
    I guess it depends on the person. For me, being PRN is much better than being full-time. I got my own insurance, which was very cheap, since I don't have any health problems. I can work full-time hours if I want and one of the best parts is that I only work when I feel like working. I'm not obligated to work and don't have to put in requests for PTO (I do miss PTO though!). If I want to be off, I'm off. Luckily at my facility, getting hours is never a problem. I only have to work 8 hours/2 week period and I get that easily.
  4. 1
    If you have a pre-existing condition and desperately need the health insurance, full time employment is your best bet.

    However, my status is PRN at my current workplace. I am paid $11 more per hour than full-time staff at my experiential level, can pick the days that I want to work, and can sock away money into my savings or IRA.

    PRN employees are the first to have shifts cancelled, have no guaranteed hours, accrue no PTO, have no benefits, and so forth. You receive a higher pay rate in exchange for a minimal commitment to the company.
    Jessy_RN likes this.
  5. 1
    At my hospital, the first people to be put on call d/t low census are the PRNs. If your place is always busy, it's not a big deal but for those slow times, it really can put a dent in the paycheck.

    I took the pay cut and went full time as soon as I could. If you can afford not to work, or don't need full time hours, PRN is the way to go. If you need the steady income, I'd go full time.
    Jessy_RN likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from Deetail
    Assuming you can still get full time hours as PRN... At my facility the pay is about $5 more per hour for PRN. I figure health insurance is roughly $200 a month.. Is full time still a better bet?
    Depends on what you need. There is no guarantee of hours when you're PRN- even if they tell you there's full time availability. During times of low census, PRN nurses will be the first canceled and you are not paid under those circumstances. Full time offers benefits, including paid time off. You can get some kind of minimal health insurance plan on your own for $200/month but you will likely pay less than that for a much better plan through your employer. In my state, the cheapest insurance plan available is $233/month and that comes with a $2,000 deductible and a 20% co-insurance and is a plan that is not widely accepted. In my current job, I pay something like $30 every other week pre-tax for a widely accepted plan with no deductible.
  7. 0
    From my experience, I would work full time. Especially if you don't have kids yet and have the time to work 36 hours per week. I went PRN after going on my husband's plan when we got married, thinking I could get a lot of hours at such a great rate. I ended up not getting enough time, like 12-24 hrs per week when I wanted 36. Then I had kids and by choice have not been full time in a long time. PRN and part time is great. But if I could do it over again I would have worked full time as long as I could. Get a retirement plan etc. I enjoy being PRN right now but do plan on going full time again at some point. I look forward to at some point having normal hours, a dependable salary and retirement savings.
  8. 0
    For some people, PRN is the best choice. Those are people who have access to group health insurance rates elsewhere (e.g. through their husband's employment) -- and who don't need steady income.

    1. Decent health insurance can cost a LOT more than $200 per month, especially if you are in any high risk groups, want maternity, coverage, etc.

    2. Don't forget dental insurance, life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, and disability insurance. You probably won't get ANY of those as a PRN -- and they can worth a lot of money if you find yourself needing them.

    3. Retirment. Most PRN's get no retirement benefit. Many employers pay extra into your retirement plan if you are a full time or part employee. Mine pays an extra 4% of my salary into my retirement account. Over time, that money really adds up. When you are in your 60's, you are going to want a big retirement account.

    4. Paid vacation and/or sick time. Calculate how much money that is worth. It can be a whole lot.

    5. As others have said, if your unit's census goes down, the PRN's will probably be the first people to told to stay home. Can you afford to go several weeks at a time only working an ocassional shift?

    6. If your employer decides to fill the vacant positions with full time or part time regular employees, you'll find your work hours greatly reduced.

    As I said, for some people, the schedule flexibility of PRN is worth the risk of losing all of the benefits and the lower income that comes when you are not needed to work. But I have known a lot of people who have switched to PRN who later switch back to regular employment once they have some health problems and/or the census goes down -- and they have to go a few weeks or MONTHS without much of a paycheck.
  9. 0
    Don't mean to hijack the thread, but I am a nursing student so I was wondering if PRN would be worth doing for the sole purpose of getting experience? I am going into the field with minimal work experience in healthcare so I am researching ahead of time the pros and cons of different avenues later on. I am also planning on getting my BSN as soon as possible after I get my RN ( ADN ) and it sounds like PRN allows for greater schedule flexibility. Thoughts?
  10. 1
    OK Nurse2be - No, if you want experience you should take a full time job. Per diem staff gets cancelled a lot. It's no guaranteed time. Also, if it's your first job out of school they usually would only hire you FT or PT. The people who work per diem have experience already.
    KelRN215 likes this.
  11. 0
    Quote from MommyandRN
    OK Nurse2be - No, if you want experience you should take a full time job. Per diem staff gets cancelled a lot. It's no guaranteed time. Also, if it's your first job out of school they usually would only hire you FT or PT. The people who work per diem have experience already.
    Ah, I see.. thank you so much! FT is what I really would want anyway.


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