Advice on PRN work needed.

  1. 0
    Okay, I,ve been job hunting now about three months and I am finally interviewing.

    One place offered a part time shift with set hours of 7-3 p.m.. The other place is PRN work. On top of that, I am regularly scheduled for hours at a free clinic in town and I will be taking a bio course in the fall with an on campus lab requirement.

    What is the etiquette of PRN work?

    1) Can you be hired PRN at more than one place and maybe even work part time somewhere at the same time? This may be a necessity to get enough hours in financially.

    2) Are you expected to be available if the PRN shift comes in last minute and you're scheduled already for a different job?

    3) Can you call weekly to try and drum up more hours for PRN work instead of waiting to be called last minute?

    4) Can you let them know that you are unavailable on certain days/ hours due to taking a class?

    5) If you limit your availablity, when is the best time to do that? After you officially get hired? (If I pay for this class, I have to attend- it's a prereq for my RN-BSN program coming up.)

    I would truly appreciate all the advice and wisdom anyone can offer. I have already learned so much from the nurses on this site. Thanks in advance.

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  2. 2
    The attraction of PRN is that you have complete control of your schedule. You notify the employer of days when you are available. Some employers have a set of requirements that you must meet in order to stay active on the PRN list... minimum number of shifts you must work per month/pay period; # or frequency of times you can decline a work request, etc. Each employer has their own policy on schedules & notification of availability. They may require you to provide them with an advance schedule to coincide with their own scheduling periods (so they could schedule you in advance to fill in for planned absences) & then let them know ASAP if your predicted availability changes. Keep in mind that coverage for call-ins (unscheduled absences) will occur very close to the start of a shift... you'll get calls at 4 AM!!!

    A lot of nurses work PRN for other employers in addition to having a full time job. You just have to be sure and let the PRN place know the days you are unavailable. This would also apply for accommodating your school schedule.

    I am a bit concerned however - it is NEVER wise to go PRN as a new grad. It will be very difficult for you to receive an adequate orientation if you do not have a set schedule or consistent work area. If this is your situation, I would strongly advise you to accept the part time job, which hopefully would provide a better orientation arrangement. Then, after you become more confident, you could venture out into 'PRN-land'.
    tsunade and whatdoIdonow? like this.
  3. 0
    I am a bit concerned however - it is NEVER wise to go PRN as a new grad. It will be very difficult for you to receive an adequate orientation if you do not have a set schedule or consistent work area. If this is your situation, I would strongly advise you to accept the part time job, which hopefully would provide a better orientation arrangement. Then, after you become more confident, you could venture out into 'PRN-land'.[/QUOTE]

    Thank you for the reply! ANY work is hard to come by in my neck of the woods right now! I agree with you that it would be better to have more orientation. The saving grace of these positions is that they are LTC so the nursing skills won't be as advanced most likely.

    I am somewhere in the HR process with both of them. My hope is the parttime job will come through before the PRN one. I prefer it anyway. The hours are great! I meet with them next Tuesday" to go over the offer letter" the HR lady said and do the pre-employment screening. Hopefully that means everything is nearly a go with them!

    For the PRN job, I don't know how they schedule. And, until your post, I didn't know how to even ask about it intelligently so thank you very much for the info! I wonder how things work with them. I am really hoping to avoid variable shifts right now. Evenings 3-11 is perfect for my lifestyle right now! Thanks again!
  4. 1
    Quote from whatdoIdonow?

    1) Can you be hired PRN at more than one place and maybe even work part time somewhere at the same time? This may be a necessity to get enough hours in financially.

    2) Are you expected to be available if the PRN shift comes in last minute and you're scheduled already for a different job?

    3) Can you call weekly to try and drum up more hours for PRN work instead of waiting to be called last minute?

    4) Can you let them know that you are unavailable on certain days/ hours due to taking a class?

    5) If you limit your availablity, when is the best time to do that? After you officially get hired? (If I pay for this class, I have to attend- it's a prereq for my RN-BSN program coming up.)
    1. Yes...in fact, it's wise to not rely solely on the PRN job for income, the reason being that the PRN job guarantees you nothing. You may get tons of hours from them. You may go weeks with being cancelled or cut and get few to no hours for them. There's no guarantees.

    2. No, you're not expected to be at their beck-and-call 24/7. However, staffing managers do remember which PRNs tend to be more willing to pick up work on short notice and will often call them first to fill staffing gaps (unless there's procedures in place that prevent them from doing so). If you keep telling them No, you'll probably be called less often.

    3. Check with your facility regarding specific policies about that...but for the most part, most of them don't mind if you call in weekly, at least from my experience. I wouldn't call in any more often than that, though.

    4. Yes, but again, check with your facility regarding specific policies about scheduling. For example, most facilities will require you to work a certain number of weekend shifts every month. If you keep refusing to schedule yourself on the weekends because of classes, or keep calling off of weekends, you may find yourself let go for failing to meet the minimum availability requirement.

    5. I'd let them know after you are hired. If you do have to set some limitations, do your darndest to be available for other times that they may need you.
    tsunade likes this.
  5. 0
    Thank you for these tips! I honestly was a 'babe in the woods' when it comes to this stuff. I have learned so much from posts like these about how to navigate nursing waters with my first job. I did get both the PRN and part time job. I start orientation for the pt one Monday and the prn the Monday after that so I should be able to give them info about availability and be prepared for orientation. The facility didn't really tell me anything to do to prepare! lol
  6. 1
    Quote from HouTx
    I am a bit concerned however - it is NEVER wise to go PRN as a new grad. It will be very difficult for you to receive an adequate orientation if you do not have a set schedule or consistent work area. If this is your situation, I would strongly advise you to accept the part time job, which hopefully would provide a better orientation arrangement. Then, after you become more confident, you could venture out into 'PRN-land'.
    I disagree with this a bit, depending on the situation. My first RN job was(and is currently) a PRN position in an outpatient surgical setting. I had the same training and orientation as a full or part time employee, and afterwards started being truly PRN(but they continue to use me 3-4 days per week). I would ask what the orientation would be, and make sure that you could commit to being more than PRN for the duration of orientation.
    In my situation, I give my boss my available days in two week increments. If she has openings that line up with mine, then she'll book me for those. There have been occasions where they've called the night before a shift to see if I was available, but I have no obligation to be. It wasn't ever held against me if I was unavailable.
    Last edit by fromtheseaRN on Jul 27, '12 : Reason: spelling
    tsunade likes this.
  7. 0
    Hello,

    I am looking for some advice on when to go prn. I have finally secured my first nursing job in a childrens' hospital. I am hoping to add some adult acute care experience by doing prn work. I have a 90 day orientation period - assuming I pass that, when would you recommend that a first year nurse look for prn work. I would appreciate any guidance you can give me.

    Spudbunny




    Quote from whatdoIdonow?
    Okay, I,ve been job hunting now about three months and I am finally interviewing.

    One place offered a part time shift with set hours of 7-3 p.m.. The other place is PRN work. On top of that, I am regularly scheduled for hours at a free clinic in town and I will be taking a bio course in the fall with an on campus lab requirement.

    What is the etiquette of PRN work?

    1) Can you be hired PRN at more than one place and maybe even work part time somewhere at the same time? This may be a necessity to get enough hours in financially.

    2) Are you expected to be available if the PRN shift comes in last minute and you're scheduled already for a different job?

    3) Can you call weekly to try and drum up more hours for PRN work instead of waiting to be called last minute?

    4) Can you let them know that you are unavailable on certain days/ hours due to taking a class?

    5) If you limit your availablity, when is the best time to do that? After you officially get hired? (If I pay for this class, I have to attend- it's a prereq for my RN-BSN program coming up.)

    I would truly appreciate all the advice and wisdom anyone can offer. I have already learned so much from the nurses on this site. Thanks in advance.
  8. 0
    Hi SpudBunny,

    I would say finish your first 90 days without limitation or distractions of a PRN position. I was eventually hired for two jobs at once. One was every other weekend. The other was PRN. I ultimately ended up losing both in the long run. The every other weekend one wanted to train me during the day full time for two weeks (not the everyother weekend we talked about, as I was expecting). It ended on day 7. They were annoyed by having to work around the second PRN position that was starting it's training in the middle of theirs.The PRN position wanted 40 hours training. Then, I was given the hours of the person they fired they ultimately fired me too (they want the impossible and wonder why no one can deliver). They were annoyed that I, couldn't work ONE night a week (Wednesday for lab class on campus). I only wanted two to three days to begin with but they were all bent out of shape over the one day despite my being available the other six days (I wasn't with the other place).


    I wonder how someone is to take on PRN work when they want you to train like a full time job? How would you work that around your current job? So, I would advice being on firm ground first at your primary position then branch out. I like you want to look into other nursing areas to stay 'well rounded' because I don't know what I want to do with this career right now. So, I understand why you want to do adult as well as kids.

    Best Wishes
  9. 0
    Thank you for your reply MotherRN,

    I do need to wait until after the 90 day orientation period before branching out (if I feel I am ready at that point). I am just a little concerned that in this tight economy that even having a year of hospital peds might not be enough experience if I wanted to switch specialties later on to an adult specialty such as ICU or ED. I am very grateful for the hospital job - I just want to be sure to "cover all my bases" with the right kinds of hospital experience. Best of luck to you in your nursing career - these are challenging times.
  10. 0
    Your welcome! That's wonderful you have a hospital job and the opportunity for real training! I'm sure you will eventually get all the diverse nursing experience you need to round your training.


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