New Grad, New Baby, per diem?

  1. Hello everyone!

    I will be graduating with my BSN at the end of the year, Dec. 2018. I am also currently pregnant and will be having my second child in October of this year. I have an almost two year old already, this second baby was unplanned but I am still grateful for the blessing.

    It has been a lot getting through nursing school with my first baby, a real struggle to say the least. Now that I am having another one so close to graduation, I really do not want to jump into a full time position right away. Is it possible/have you heard of new grads getting per diem or part time positions?

    I live in the Central Valley of California, a really underserved area where they are definitely in need of nurses. But I also have no experience in this field to know what is common or uncommon.

    I just want a better work/life balance than I have now. I miss my babies, and I want to be home more. I just don't know if I'll have to suck it up for the first year and do my hours, or if this really is possible. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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    About Mamameema

    Joined: Aug '15; Posts: 14

    7 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    It is unusual for a new grad to get a per diem position, and most employers want you to work full time for at least a year. If you can, suck it up and work the year in acute care or LTC to get the experience, and then drop down to part time.
  4. by   babeinboots
    Not common but not unheard of either. You have to be really dedicated to your job search to find those positions. I know a couple of people who got per diem positions as new grads. I was called for an interview for a couple of per diem positions as a new grad. Just remember that your orientation will most likely be full time. Another option is to get a full time job and request to transfer to a per diem status after 6 months. Good luck!
  5. by   not.done.yet
    Per Diem is generally not a good idea for new grads. The time on orientation is less for per diem nurses and they are expected to be able to hit the ground running. You definitely would not have a preceptor beyond a few shifts, two to three at MOST. That orientation time will not be that of a new grad either. It will be about policies specific to the organization, where different things are located and basic skills checks - skills expected to already be up to par, not still learning. In fact, if you were to need "new grad" level of coaching, chances are they would let you go due to not being competent.

    Part time for a new grad in acute care (hospital) would be very unusual. However, you may be able to find something in a clinic, school nursing or other outpatient setting.
    Last edit by not.done.yet on Mar 8
  6. by   tigkaskit
    Even if you can find a job like that, I wouldn't recommend it. Even just starting a new unit as an experienced nurse is difficult in a part-time status.

    I was a nurse for almost 4 years when I changed specialties. I was required to do 3 months of full-time orientation, but after that I was 24hrs/wk. The people who started along side me, but worked full-time after orientation, caught on to things much easier, quicker, and were much more comfortable than I was. It took a LONG time before I felt competent and comfortable in the new position.

    Maybe that's just me, but it would cause me a lot of anxiety to be a new grad in a less than full time position.
  7. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from Mamameema
    Hello everyone!

    I will be graduating with my BSN at the end of the year, Dec. 2018. I am also currently pregnant and will be having my second child in October of this year. I have an almost two year old already, this second baby was unplanned but I am still grateful for the blessing.

    Is it possible/have you heard of new grads getting per diem or part time positions?

    I live in the Central Valley of California, a really underserved area where they are definitely in need of nurses. But I also have no experience in this field to know what is common or uncommon.

    I just want a better work/life balance than I have now. I miss my babies, and I want to be home more. I just don't know if I'll have to suck it up for the first year and do my hours, or if this really is possible. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Career wise, you should start applying for a residency position by your last semester.
    If you wait too long, you will not be eligible for a reputable program.

    New grads should not work per diem or part-time for at least 1-2 yrs.

    Work life balance is a challenge as a new grad with an infant, but many nurses do succeedin your situation. Best wishes.
  8. by   Meriwhen
    I went into psych, whereas most new grads (and a lot of experienced nurses for that matter) run screaming in the opposite direction because they want ED, ICU, L&D, anything but. My first nursing job was per-diem because that was what was available, and I sold myself well enough to get hired.

    However, I also worked 40 hours a week every week that first year until a full-time position opened up. I knew there was no way I would have developed as a new grad by pulling only 1 or 2 shifts a week, so I made myself available for whatever shifts I could: days, evenings, weekends, any unit. And yes, it did involve a lot of creative childcare...I had a toddler but thanks to the military, I didn't always have my better half at home to watch him. But I needed the experience, and the only way I was going to get that experience was to be at work as much as I could.

    After a couple of years of full-time work, I relocated across the country and had no problem getting another per-diem position where I actually didn't work 40 hours a week

    The first year of nursing is tough enough as it is. Working part-time means it's going to take that much longer to transition from new grad to competent nurse. I would try to find a way to make full-time hours work for you, at least for the first year. After you get that year under your belt, then employers would see you as a better candidate for part-time or per-diem.

    Best of luck whatever you decide.
  9. by   VidyaNC
    I hear you and congratulations I have two young ones myself and have searched a while for when the time comes, I would like to have a work/life balance. I can feel the thread lends more towards hospital nursing (minus poster #3 advice) and my best advice for you would be to piggyback on that advice or do the following. Depending on your childcare goals and what specialty you want to go into, enlist the help of your significant other, if applicable, and childcare. Think outside of the box. Depending on your prior experience, you might be able to work from home, again, depending on your background experience and how you sell your self. That could be, but not limited to telenursing, medical/nurse writing, etc. Along the same path, depending on your background and experience, you might want to go into public health nursing (school nursing). If no experience in your background and you are not so stern about getting into hospital nursing (remember your priorities: children, and your dream specialty) then go into LTC, skilled nursing facillites, and the like. They tend to have shifts 24/7 (the same with hospitals, but you will get a job faster in the former to build experience for the later!) and are more likely to get you experience as a new student. These places also tend to have work-at-home options such as being an on-call coordinator, weekends, etc. I think you get the idea. [This is based on my search results as I was combing through work from home nursing options and flexible nursing jobs] You might want to become a member with Flexjobs.com or similar sites (like this one on allnurses.com) closer to graduation and once you pass the NCLEX. Start doing your research now before the second baby comes along!

    Don't sweat it. I can imagine the stress and the anxiety. Your babies will be school-age before you know it! Good luck! I am doing my research now while waiting for an answer for acceptance into nursing school and may plan for baby number three but am doing my 'homework' to prepare for my future

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