Young New Mom. Better to stay full time or per diem. Do you regret it?

  1. 1
    I am an RN with around 6 mo exp, and I have a 18 mo daughter that I miss incredibly since I took a 7-3pm, 5 days a week day shift. Its great having holidays, evenings, nights and weekends off but I really miss my daughter. I want to do 4 days instead of 5 but the hospital wont let me. She is growing up without me. Should I work per diem somewhere else, or is that financially unstable? I do have good benefits now, but this current job is not my dream job due to the environment. There is a per diem opening at my dream job, just scared about being broke due to the bad economy and lack of hours. I dont know what to do!

    I want to see my daughter, have freedom, flexibility, more time off. So the per diem 12 hr shifts seems ok since I can do some nights some days, even though nights are tough.
    Help me! Do I try for the per diem and risk being broke and tired all the time, working weekends and holidays just for freedom and flexibility. Or stay where I am for the stability and benefits? sheesh this is hard! Thank you!
    Joe V likes this.
  2. Poll: Stay Full time Benefits or go Per diem at my dream job?

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  4. 12 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    Are you married or a single mom? The reason why I ask is because of the benefits...usually PRN positions offer a little higher pay in lieu of benefits. Usually the only benefit they offer is a retirement plan.

    Some other things to consider: PRN positions are the first to get called off if your census is low or if you are in overtime but at the same time the flexibility in your schedule is really nice.

    Does your place of employment do 12-hour shifts? That might be more feasible to work two or three 12-hour shifts/week vs. five 8-hour shifts.

    I'm all for family first, but those are just some other factors to consider. Good luck with your decision.
    Last edit by turnforthenurseRN on Sep 21, '12
  6. 1
    There are so many factors to consider, and you recognize most of them. After 5 years in a hospital setting with 12 hr shifts, I need to point out that 3 12s is a lot of time away from your child. On those days, if you work day shift you won't see her at all. If you work nights, you need sleep during the day to stay safe and alert at night. Then for me at least if you work 2 or 3 days in a row, you'll need a day of "recovery" before you feel your best again. You'll have the flexibility of scheduling which is wonderful, from my perspective having time with your daughter every day with guaranteed time off on nights and weekends is worth a ton. You'll likely make more PRN, as mentioned, but hours are less reliable. Could you afford to not work for a week if hours are scarce during a down period?

    I'm off work right now caring for a family member, but I'm about to take a prn contract which will only require me to work 2 12 hr shifts per week. A decent compromise for me between having to give up time 5 days per week or working full time.

    Good luck with your decision. It's a tough one with pros and cons in each direction.
    Fiona59 likes this.
  7. 0
    I just graduated as an RN myself and waiting to take the boards. Here is my 2 cents. I didn't vote but just giving my opinion. Being a new nurse I don't think I could ever take a PRN position because I feel in the begining you need consistency. I have 2 small children as well and wanted to do nights because I figured I would work while they slept and still be able to spend time with them. There is the issue with lack of sleep but I thought you would get used to that over time. I don't want to work 3 12 hr days because I literally would not see them during that time. I now have to opportunity to possibly work 8 hr shifts and I am thinking that really might be the best. We can work 4 or 5 days a week, it is our choice. This isn't my dream job either but I am getting experience. I know that kids grow up so quick but you also have to think about what you would be able to provide her if you continued working full time and what you wouldn't be able to provide her going PRN. If you can afford to go PRN and make less money and feel you have achieved enough experience or only want to continue doing PRN work then go for it. Otherwise I would stick with full time at least for a little bit longer. Good luck on making a decision whichever way you choose.
  8. 1
    Remember that old saying, "nobody on their deathbed ever say's I wish I'd worked more"?

    If you can afford it go to the casual line. The beauty of casual is you work when you want. If it's hospital nursing, you'll get hours.
    Maritimer likes this.
  9. 2
    Look at your finances and determine if you could live on less. Also, you don't get benefits with per diem so if you need benefits there's your answer. Kids get more expensive as they get older so make sure you factor that in. In a few short years she will be in school all day so the 7-3 job would be perfect then. If you don't need the benefits and you can make your budget work then by all means go per diem. You won't regret it if you can afford it and have support the days you do work since you won't have any time or energy left on those days for your baby.
    Fiona59 and kaliRN like this.
  10. 0
    Hi guys! I'm not a single mom he works 4 nights a week at a low paying job until he gets his career under way. I am miserable everyday at the 5x a week job because I can't be away from her ALL week! I want my dream job and I think this per diem is a way to get in the door on this unit in this particular hospital. I am ok with 24-36 hrs a week that's just 2-3 days of work instead of FIVE yikes. I need freedom something my current job strips away from me. He gets benefits at work, their expensive but at least she can hv insurance. I don't care about insurance for myself at the time being. I figure in a year or so I will be offered full time there! And then everything would be in place. Just gotta stop worrying about no shifts being availabe! Do you kno per dorms that can't get any hours!?
  11. 0
    In my hospital they cancel per diems first. They would rather float someone then pay per diem rates. Prns are also floated often to the units that re most short staffed. If you are a fairly new nurse, it will be hard to get hired as prn. You need a good amount of experience e before this type of job would be a good fit. At least in my neck of the woods, with 6 months experience you would not be hired for prn. You can always apply and see if they are willing to train you. Is it a different type of nursing then what you do now? Are you in med surg now? Acute care? I hate to be a party pooper, but the odds are against you here.
  12. 0
    Hi guys, I am basically already hired per diem, I spoke to the manager on this unit for the per diem hire.
  13. 0
    In our hospital anyone working a med-surg unit usually gets most of their hours. The more specialized units not as many. I'd say go for it! Getting your foot in the door will give you first crack at full time over the general public. I always hated working five days a week too!


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