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Nurses   (1,072 Views 11 Comments)
by gravy94 gravy94, BSN (Member) Member Nurse

547 Profile Views; 18 Posts

Hi everyone, I just graduated and will be starting in ICU residency program. I am thinking of getting a per diem (registry) position to helpout will bills. Is that a good idea? If yes,what kind of places hires new grads as per diem? thank you!

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7 Followers; 3,245 Posts; 21,674 Profile Views

No, that is a terrible idea!  You need to focus on learning everything you can about ICU nursing and ICU patients. That will more than fill your plate for the next two years. 

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River&MountainRN has 4 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Primary Care, LTC, Private Duty.

222 Posts; 2,226 Profile Views

They're out there. None are ones that you want to work at for long. Any company that would take a new grad who is already facing a steep learning curve at an intense, full-time job like the ICU (or any full-time job as a new grad) is just taking advantage of you. Per diem doesn't allow you enough time to really become trained, experienced, and competent in whatever per diem specialty you're hired on to. You just don't know what you don't know, but the company will be happy to throw you under the bus if something goes wrong.

Edited by River&MountainRN
Autocorrect strikes again!

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

3 Followers; 4,237 Posts; 30,608 Profile Views

A lot of places require 2-5 years experience to work per diem. Per diem are typically the first to float, as well. It's not something I'd do as a new grad even if I had the chance.
After you become reasonable competent in your new position, you may find that you're able to pick up an extra shifts at your full time job.

Edited by Sour Lemon

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CharleeFoxtrot has 7 years experience as a ADN, RN.

550 Posts; 6,593 Profile Views

20 hours ago, gravy94 said:

Hi everyone, I just graduated and will be starting in ICU residency program. I am thinking of getting a per diem (registry) position to helpout will bills. Is that a good idea? If yes,what kind of places hires new grads as per diem? thank you!

For the moment, you are far better off focusing all your energy on the ICU position. Then, once you get your feet under you pickup additional shifts for the overtime to help out with your bills. That way you aren't learning a whole other job, and if you do the math time and a half pays pretty well. Then, after a few years reevaluate if necessary. Best of luck! ICU is very challenging.

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18 Posts; 547 Profile Views

Thank you everyone for feedback! Do you guys have any tips on making earning some money after six months? 

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Caprica6 has 10 years experience.

66 Posts; 2,530 Profile Views

6 hours ago, gravy94 said:

Thank you everyone for feedback! Do you guys have any tips on making earning some money after six months? 

Take a look at what you are spending each month and try to reduce the non-essentials. At 6 months into your first year of nursing, you need your days off/down time to rest and prepare for your next shift...you've got to try to have a good work-life balance. Good luck!

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience as a RN.

1 Follower; 4,212 Posts; 29,562 Profile Views

In my department, there are people who work an overtime shift every week. They typically are paying down student loans.

For a bit more money, in my hospital you can sign up in another department (that you are qualified to work in- (other floors for floor nurses or other ICUs for ICU nurses) where they are so short of nurses that there is a critical staffing bonus on top of your regular wages.

Look at what your shift differentials are in your hospital. Weekends pay substantially more than weekdays, and the night differential is good too (at least in my hospital).

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DowntheRiver has 5 years experience and specializes in Urgent Care, Oncology.

890 Posts; 13,936 Profile Views

If you're looking for a per diem nursing job that requires little to no nursing experience, I'd suggest looking outside the hospital. Some suggestions:

- Vaccine Clinics: Some places do flu clinics where they travel around and provide the flu vaccine, typically September through February. Quest Diagnostics sometimes has positions for this, but other local companies exist for this as well. 

- Employee health testing: Some companies do labs and urine on site. Just drawing blood and administering drug tests and/or observing people pee. Again, lotsa local companies do this.

-IV starts/Blood draw at a cancer center. Some cancer centers have PRN positions for nurses to draw blood, access ports, change PICC dressings, and start IVs. This is my part time job and we have 5 or 6 PRN nurses. They don't have to know the Radiology stuff so all they do is draw blood and start IVs. 

-IV nutrition: The new hip thing is giving Meyer's cocktails to hungover or dehydrated folks. This is what I do as a side gig and while it does require me to be a RN it is pretty basic. I typically see 6-8 patients in 8 hours and can do my homework on the side. 

I will disagree with the previous posters about getting a PRN job. I don't have any hobbies so I just work in my free time. Just don't get anything complicated. I certainly wouldn't get another hospital or clinic job. 

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Jedrnurse has 25 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in school nurse.

1,385 Posts; 12,902 Profile Views

I agree with the suggestion previously made that you pick up some OT (once you're eligible) at your primary job. It can save you some hassle, not working for a second employer...

(Just watch out for burnout.)

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kdkout has 20 years experience.

98 Posts; 1,917 Profile Views

I have done ICU nursing and a consortium program.  You are being completely and totally unrealistic about the demands of the job.  AND you're a new grad.  I cant even.

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