Just How Serious Are They?

  1. With all this talk about the nursing shortage in the US (and elsewhere), are hospitals/trusts/whatever they're called serious enough about recruiting nurses that they're offering what we in the UK call, "Term-time only" contracts?

    That is, you (being, in most cases, a parent with school-aged children) work only when school is in session? My British NHS trust offers them, and I'm on one at the moment. I figure it must work out well for the hospital, because here, kids are in school about 40 weeks out of 52 (spread fairly evenly through out the year with a summer break of 6 weeks), and most parents on these contracts take little or no other vacation, and very few sick days. Since the NHS offers minimum 4 weeks holiday anyway, they only have to find cover for an additional 5 or 6 weeks, and they get a very motivated employee....

    I know from my American childhood, that the US school vacations still are heavily weighted towards summer (12 weeks?) with only a few weeks at winter and spring break.

    so, if I decide once I'm qualified, that it really DOES rain too much here, and we should move to California , could I get a term-time contract?????
  2. Visit kermit27 profile page

    About kermit27

    Joined: Mar '03; Posts: 67
    keeping all the balls in the air; from US
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in med/surge


  3. by   Berta
    That sounds good. Trying to find daycare for vacations and summer breaks is horrible. Do you still get benefits with this type of programs, ie health insurance, etc. I am not familiar with this type of contract in the nursing field. My current job has someting similar that we call seasonal employees. But they don't get any benefits, such as holiday pay, insurance, overtime, etc. If its available all I have to say is sign me up. Berta
    Last edit by Berta on Jul 8, '03
  4. by   kermit27
    Hi Berta,

    Yes, so far I believe you just get pro-rated salary, ie, a 40 week contract instead of 52 or whatever. Pension, car parking, whatever else is the same. Of course, we don't get private health when working for the NHS??!!! ( that would be cheating )
  5. by   mattsmom81
    Kermit, facilities aren't generally offering contracts to nurses directly, but a nurse here can work through a third party employer (agency) and take 6 week contracts up...essentially controlling their own work year. Many nurses I know travel across the country this way. And some locals work through the agency with local contracts so as to have control over their worklife.

    Many agencies offer benefits now too which is nice.
  6. by   LeesieBug
    There is a hospital in a city near me that is offering something similar. Work nine months, off three. When I found out about this, I was really excited! I am hoping it will catch on!
  7. by   llg
    We have tossed the idea around at my hospital, but can't seem to come up with a good solution to the question of "who is going to take care of the patients in the summer?"

    There are very few people, if any, who would be interested in working for only the summer months to fill the holes left by the people who were working the term only schedule.

    What we do offer is a very flexible "per diem" package. To work per diem, you sacrifice your benefits (e.g. health insurance and paid vacation, etc.), but you can choose to work a lot of shifts in the winter and only a bare minimum of 4 shifts per 6-week schedule in the summer. We have a lot of nurses who do that.

  8. by   kermit27
    Thanks, you guys, that's helpful

    I did kind of think that it would be more difficult with the school vacation weighted heavily towards the summer.

    Of course, by the time I'm qualified, my kids will be older so it might not be such an issue.