New grad PRN? Year off? Help.


I am currently in nursing school about to graduate with my RN at the beginning of May. I am very excited to be a nurse. However a new experience has fallen into my lap. I have the chance of playing a season of college basketball while completing my BSN which would start about 6 months after I graduate. I've read all about "stale new grads" and I don't want to have a hard time finding a job due to being "stale" and I know it's silly, but I would like to try this experience out while I'm young and still can. I was wondering how to approach this.. Should I (or can I even) apply for a full time position and try to dropdown to PRN? Is there certain places I could work PRN as a new grad that would allow me to maintain my nursing skills? Or should I just not even try to play? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks,


6,465 Posts


Well, first...

24 minutes ago, Chocolateluv said:

Should I (or can I even) apply for a full time position and try to dropdown to PRN? Is there certain places I could work PRN as a new grad that would allow me to maintain my nursing skills?

This is not a very viable plan; I think you would be hard-pressed to find a decent place that would allow it. You will still be very much in the process of achieving competency at the time you would need to drop back to PRN and generally if you are not a regular staff member working PT-FT and participating in unit activities, etc., etc., your progress there is going to stall somewhat and the whole thing is just not ideal as far as having the regular/routine learning experiences and opportunities to keep working toward proficiency and all of that.

But...let me understand...will you be graduating from an ADN program and becoming eligible to take NCLEX, but then you're going to continue on for your BSN and in association with that program you would be able to play a year of college BB?

I would be sad to hear that it ruins one's chances of getting hired into acute care if you stay in school to finish your BSN and play a year of BB before seeking your first nursing job. That would seem like a bit of nonsense.

If this is an opportunity that you would really like to take (one that most other people don't get)...I have a hard time saying that you should pass it up because of the ways of healthcare employers. You will have the rest of your career to toe that line. Besides, I suspect you might be able to sell yourself easier (after that extra year is over) than we might initially think. Continuing your nursing studies while accepting the opportunity to play a year of college BB shows some initiative and other character qualities. It isn't like you'll be sitting at home doing nothing. Plus it's not the common nursing student story; interviewers will remember it and maybe even admire it a little.

I don't know the right answer. I look forward to hearing what others have to say.

RNperdiem, RN

4,572 Posts

Has 14 years experience.

Yes this is an interesting dilemma.

Most reputable jobs don't take new grads per diem. Nursing school gives you a theoretical education and very limited practical education. It is as if you are deemed competent to swim because you passed the written test, yet have never been in the deep end of the pool. The first year of working as a nurse is your final year of school. Most employers know this and know that new grads need full-time work and lots of precepting to get through that important first year.

Your homework is to assess: What is the job market in your area for new grads? Do you have family resources to fall back on if you are unemployed for a length of time? How certain is the chance to play basketball? A possibility or a sure thing? How badly do you want to play basketball?

ruby_jane, BSN, RN

3,142 Posts

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing. Has 14 years experience.

The only PRN job I'd even recommend you look at is at one of the mobile vaccine clinics where you' d be travelling to give flu and B12 shots. And there's not a lot of work there between April and fall.

Please understand that after you spend the time getting your BSN you wouldn't be considered a "new grad" although if you had no practice time in, you would legitimately be a new grad.

I am assuming some kind of athletic scholarship that helps you pay for that BSN? If might be able to spin that (but again, you'd not be a "new grad.")

Best of luck.