Question About Full Time vs. Part Time


Hi everyone! I'm hoping to get some insight to this general hospital employment question. I will be a new grad as of next week (yay), with no hospital experience except for clinicals. I am fortunate enough to have been offered a position on the unit I did my last clinical rotation on. They are offering me a .8 (32 hours weekly) position. The nurse manager told me there would be plenty of opportunities for me to pick up shifts and work 40 or more hours. This doesn't really matter to me, I'm happy with .8. However, how does this effect benefits, overtime pay etc. I thought that I read somewhere that many hospitals (in general) do this so they don't have to pay overtime, less benefits, etc. I guess my main question is what are the disadvantages to being hired as .8 but working full time most weeks? Why wouldn't they just offer me 1.0 if there are always shifts to be filled? Thanks in advance for your replies!

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

I also started my first job on a unit from nursing school clinicals and am still there! Most times with less than full time you will pay a bit more per month for your benefits, get a bit less vacation hours, personal leave etc. You are probably correct in that by snagging you .8 they get a nearly full time employee for a bit cheaper because of the above and that they don't pay overtime until +40 hours. What I would do is get a PerDiem job. They usually pay really good because of no benefits and you will not only make more bank overall but you will get more experience also. Good luck and congratulations!

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

4 Articles; 7,907 Posts

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

Double-check if they consider .8 full-time because a lot of places do (mine does). And if it is indeed full-time, then your benefits should be the same as any other full-time employee's.

Like Jules said, you probably won't accrue OT until you work 40 hours. This means that you'll probably get called a lot to cover missing/short staff because they can get you for another 8 hours at your regular rate instead of shelling out OT to someone else. So you should really have no problem making those 40 hours.

Of course, the nice thing about being .8 is that they can't force you to work that extra shift if you don't want to, something to keep in mind during the beautiful summer months. Or you can use that fact as a bit of leverage should you be working a certain day that you'd rather be off on :)


14,633 Posts

Check the details with your specific potential employer -- lots of employers handle this kind of thing (what counts as a "full-time" employee for benefit purposes) differently. If you are hired as a .8 FTE and that doesn't make you eligible for benefits, keep in mind that no matter how many extra shifts you pick up and how many weeks you work 40 or more hours, you will still not be eligible for benefits, because your position is a .8 position.

I'm not suggesting this (the .8 position) would necessarily be a bad idea, esp. in this employment environment, but it's important to be clear and specific about what you're getting into in order to make the best decision for yourself.

Best wishes!