Best Timing to Start Full-Time vs PRN Job

  1. Hello fabulous nurses! I'm hoping to get some advice on the optimal timing for starting a PRN job in addition to a full-time job.

    My nursing background has exclusively been in NICU, though I recently received a Peds Cardiac ICU job and will be relocating to another state. There are several NICUs in the area (half a dozen), which are all hiring both full-time and PRN staff. I like the idea of having a PRN NICU job in order to keep my skills current and my foot in the door. However, I'm a bit anxious that I'll be biting off more than I can chew; PCICU is a notoriously challenging, high-stress specialty (both intellectually and emotionally), and as a new-to-specialty nurse I don't want to become overwhelmed and burnt out if I'm feeling overextended during my days off.

    I've heard some people recommend starting a PRN job before starting a full-time job because it can be so hard to get time off from your full-time job to orient to a PRN job--after I move, I'll have a month and a half off before starting my full-time job, so it would be an optimal time to complete a PRN orientation. I'm also nervous that if I wait too long and the market changes, the local NICUs will no longer be hiring PRN. However, I don't want to accept a PRN job then quit soon after if I discover it's too much, since I don't want to burn bridges with any of the local NICUs.

    In short, I'm feeling pretty confused and conflicted. Any and all advice would be much appreciated!
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    Joined: Jun '15; Posts: 790; Likes: 2,220