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Is working second job a conflict of interest?

Nurse Beth   (276 Views | 0 Replies)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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Dear Nurse Beth,

I have questions about conflict of interest. I am offered to work as a staff nurse in a hospital. It will be my primary job. But I also want to work for a skilled nursing facility as a PRN nurse at the same time. Am I allowed to do that? I reside in Tennessee. I am not sure where to look for related information about working for multiple facilities and whether they are in conflict of interest.

Dear Not Sure,

The law does not prohibit you from having two jobs.

Conflict of interest between employers usually means that your employer is concerned about you sharing trade secrets with a competitor, or setting up a competing business. This is not common in nursing, and you would have been required to sign a non-compete clause.

Tennessee, like the majority of states, is an "at-will" state, meaning employees can be fired, suspended, or disciplined for any reason. (Read at-will employment and right-to-work article to learn more).

Travelers sometimes run into situations where they are not allowed to hire on to an employer until a certain length of time has passed since their contract employment, but that is not your case.

A lot of nurses have two  jobs with two different employers. Usually, like you, they consider one job their primary job, and the other one their secondary or side job. Employers do not  like to hear that your second job interferes in any way with primary job. For example, your employer may not be sympathetic if you can't make it to staff meetings because of your second job. It is wise to manage both schedules independently and never use one job as an excuse for not fulfilling your obligations at the other job.

There's no reason you can't work both places. As long as you are not showing up for work overly tired because of your second job, you shouldn't have a problem.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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