Should New ED Nurse Work Part-Time?

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I have re-entered nursing after 11 years with only one-year cardiology experience in a hospital setting and a two years part-time school nurse. Now that I finally get to do what I set out to do a few years back, I would love to find a weekend job in the ED so that I can complete my BSN education.

    I have kept busy getting certified in ACLS, ASLS, and PALS while looking for work since completing my RN Re-entry eight-week program in a hospital emergency observation unit an hour away. I have also taken the time to volunteer in Florida as a Red Cross RN. My question is should I apply for an ER tech position while looking for work? I would not want to take anyone's position opportunity or waste the hospital's time training me. I am willing to work any shift night or day on the weekend. I realized that looking at weekend only positions are limiting my opportunities. Thank you.

    Dear Want Weekend ED Job With Scant Experience,
    I would not recommend working part-time until you have a year to two years experience. There is a steep learning curve in becoming an ED nurse and you need to immerse yourself in your specialty the first year at least. I would put the BSN on the back burner for a bit.

    The upside to hiring on as an ED tech is that you may have a better chance of landing a job as an RN once they've seen your work ethic. The downside is limiting your practice to ED tech scope when you are trained to do more. In some cases, hospitals do not want to hire professionals into lower level positions because of such conflict and possible liability.

    If you decide to take a job as an ED tech, though, I wouldn't worry about the training- it is minimal. You will need to attend Orientation, which will be on weekdays.

    You might benefit by prioritizing your professional goals. Focus on the goal most important to you.

    • Work as an ED nurse?
    • Work, period?
    • Get your BSN?

    Best wishes on your decision.

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Jan 30
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,447; Likes: 4,323