Quote from cheyne stokes
OK, thanks. Could that affect me if I was hired on a floor where they had more than enough staff? For example, could they cut my hours back after orientation?
Theoretically, yes, but probably not ... depending upon the specifics of the situation. It's a good question to ask in an interview.
At a lot of hospitals, there are 2 kinds of staff members. The first kind occupy an official budgeted position. (I'll call those folks "regular staff" people.) The second kind work only as needed (often called "PRN" or "per diem" staff). When there is plenty of staff and not enough work for everyone who wants to work, it is usually the PRN people who are cancelled first. That's the nature of their postion. They only work when there is a need ... and if there is no need because the "regular staff" are able to handle things by themselves, there is no need for the PRN folks.
Also, if it is a big unit and it is only overhired by a couple of positions, there are almost always enough people out on medical leave or on orientation, or on vacation, etc. so that you would be needed to work. Similarly, if you're not going to start orientation immediately and you'll have several weeks of orientation ... it is HIGHLY unlikely that there would be zero people leaving by the time you finish orientation and are counted in the staffing numbers.
Most times, when units overhire ... they know what they are doing. They know that by the time you finish orientation and start counting in their staffing numbers, you will be needed to take care of the patients. Your position will not be an overhire by then. But it is a good idea to ask about it as part of your interview process.
Personally, I am a big advocate of overhiring when the bulk of new grads is job-hunting. By the time they graduate, pass boards (which some won't pass), complete orientation (which some won't complete), etc. it will be several months from now -- and certainly by then, a few staff members will either leave or have babies and go part time, or transfer to other positions, etc. If a unit waits until those people actually leave to start replacing them, the best new grads will have already accepted other jobs and the process of getting other people hired and oriented could take months, leaving the unit short-staffed in the meantime. In my experience, hospitals that don't allow an occassional overhire are cutting things too lean -- leaving periods of short-staffing that could be prevented by a little judicious overhiring during the summer "new grad season."
I have great respect for hospitals that hire people and get them oriented in anticipation of a predictable need -- rather than wait for the actual shortages due to vacant positions before they will hire somebody. It's a bit of a gamble, but it's a pretty safe bet if the management knows what it is doing.