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Requesting status change...good idea?!?! help!!

i am a new graduate nurse starting out...

the hospital has me as full time making around 20.00

i am going to request to change my status to prn (planning to work 3 days per week) for more $$ since i do not need benefits, sick time, vacation time etc basically full time without benefits....do you think this is a good idea?

do you think that my manager would even approve something like this? isn't it cheaper for them to have me as prn vs full time without benefits???

i'd like to know the pros and cons to this and if it's even a good idea...i think this will cost the hospital less to have me on staff seeing they only pay me while i am there...

please help!

The only problem I see with this is that if you are officially PRN, then theoretically down the road someone could very well start to use you as PRN and hire someone else as full time who would have priority over you when it comes to hours. There would be absolutely no guarantee of hours for you if you are PRN. If you are full time, they are supposed to schedule you full time. Any agreement should be obtained in writing.

Sounds good with big BUTS. You are probably young but does benefited positions get different retirement benefits. Can you be sure you won't need medical benefits? I assume you get medical from your husband, what if he dies or loses his job? Talk with your manager about what you plan. If you are per deim you would be first canceled as they hire full time benefited personnel.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Personally until you have been somewhere long enough to earn the reputation of a valued team member I wouldn't ask for anything...not saying you haven't already done that, wanted to make the point. :) Good luck.

Do you have the option of forgoing benefits while staying FT? In my system we can opt out of benefits for 25% more pay and remain FT. I've chosen to do this because my husband's insurance is markedly better then what I would be offered at the hospital, and because after paying for his insurance we would still be ahead $300 per month.

I would be afraid to bump down to PRN as a new employee because your employer may not guarantee your hours.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

I agree with the previous posters.

Going PRN (while trying to still work full time hours) works for some people, but not for others. As someone pointed out, unless your employer really WANTS a lot of PRN staff, she may choose to hire someone into that full time budgeted position and then you won't get as many hours of work as you think you will. Even if they don't hire into the budgeted position you vacate, what happens if the patient census drops? The PRN staff gets "called off" while the budgeted staff gets the chance to work the shifts available.

Also ... I know a lot of people who THINK they are going to make more money as PRN, who are shocked to discover that they actually make less in the long run. For example, with no paid vacation time, they get NO PAY at all when they take a few days off to go on vacation ... or over the holidays ... call out sick ... etc. Those periods of NO PAY at all can "eat up" the extra money you earn per hour being PRN if you are not careful. Those paid vacation days, sick days, etc. have actual dollar amounts attached to them.

Also, as someone mentioned, retirement benefits may seem small at first ... but they can really add up in the long run. You shouldn't ignore that in your calculations. Too many young people don't take retirement seriously -- and then get a rude awakening when they start thinking about retirement when they hit 40 or 50. They realize how foolish it was to ignore that back when they were in their 20's.

So ... going PRN might be right for you ... and your boss might allow it. But for most people just starting out in their careers, it is not a smart move.

Edited by llg

There is also the strong likelihood of getting dumped on as a PRN.

I remember one PRN, from when I was a student that got (along with me as a student), all the patients nobody else wanted.... all 6 octos, demented, tachy. 3 were post GI with drains and tubes. Getting report we kept asking, "demented? How demented? Tachy? How tachy? UGH that was a day.

labrador4122, RN

Specializes in Tele.

at my hospital to be PRN staff you have to have worked there or have 1 year experience

JBudd, MSN

Specializes in Trauma, Teaching.

I'd say if you need a certain number of hours for a paycheck to live on, stick with the staff position. PRN is way too iffy.


Specializes in LTC.

PRN not a good way to go if you want full time hours...you can choose not to have the benefits and still be full time. Benefits aren't mandatory are they?


Specializes in Tele, ICU, ED, Nurse Instructor,.

Just take everything in consideration. I agree with most of the above posts. They have some valuable information. Just write down pros and cons. Talk to your husband Then go from there. Good luck.

mamamerlee, LPN

Specializes in home health, dialysis, others.

Stick with the staff position - you will still want/need sick time, vac time, insurances, etc. I doubt you will save that $3 to make up for the days you will want off at some time. Also, you will always be the first to be cancelled, as others have mentioned.

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

IMO, I would stay at the full-time job.

You run the risk of not pulling enough PRN hours to make a full-time check. Or you may not get any PRN work for long stretches because PRN doesn't guarantee you any hours at all--you have to put in for a minimum of X shifts a pay period, but that doesn't mean they have to give you X shifts a pay period. Also, the shifts you're offered may not be the ones you want to work. And remember, as a new grad you're trying to rack up experience...and working 1-2x a week doesn't qualify as full-time experience in many employers's eyes.

And as others have said, you may not need the benefits now...but a lot of them, especially the paid time off and retirement, definitely will add up in the long run.

I have to admit that did it in reverse: I started as PRN first, since that's all I was offered at the facility. But I was lucky because at the time I was hired PRN, they were short-staffed and I was flexible enough that I had no problem making enough hours for fulll-time work. I had no benefits--I'm covered under my better half for many of them, and I've maintained my own retirement accounts for years.

When my facility pushed to increase their permanent staff a few months ago, I converted to full-time...and I was lucky again: there's now enough permanent nurses that PRN hours are being cut left and right--all that's really left for PRNs anymore are a few undesireable shifts (overnights and weekends). There also aren't any permanent spots left for PRNs to convert to even if they wanted to. My schedule is still flexible enough to suit my needs, and I have to say that the paid time off is nice :) Now that I'm not a new grad anymore, I don't have to stress about getting that magic first year's experience...but it's nice to know that I am getting guaranteed hours.

Will you be as lucky going in the opposite direction? I honestly don't know--it's a risk you have to be willing to take. Granted, it may be more money and some flexibility. But with all the nurses out there looking for work that they could hire full-time, you may not get all of the hours you want.

Best of luck whatever you decide.

Edited by Meriwhen

I'm going to offer a different viewpoint.

I've been PRN for years and it almost makes working for a living bearable. I carry my own insurance (high dediductible HSA plan) and I pick and choose my hours. If I don't want to work, I don't work. Gone are the days on missing out on family events because if you're lucky enough to get the holiday off, by God you're gonna work the day before or the day after.

So I do PRN exclusively for the flexibility. If you think it's more lucrative than full-time you really might want to crunch those numbers. Vacation time really adds up fast and like others have pointed out, with PRN you could lose a lot of hours.


Specializes in Tele, ICU, ED, Nurse Instructor,.

Fungez...you have been in the nursing field for 19 years or more. I understand where you are coming from about working prn due to family gatherings. I also work prn and pay for my own insurance also due to working the weekend program for over 2 1/2 years and earning a BSN at the same time. Now I want to do the things that I missed out on for the pass couple of years. I agree with you on that standpoint. But this is a new grad that needs the experience and keep her foot in the door. Since she dont have the experience working prn maybe not good idea for her just yet. I would at least work a year or two full time before changing status because you have your 2 yrs in experience and you no longer considered a new grad. This is just a thought.

NeoNurseTX, RN

Specializes in NICU Level III.

Well I went from FT to PT thinking I could just pick up extra shifts. It was a 6 month weekend contract. Then our census dropped dramatically and stayed that way for a few months so no extra for me.

Don't go PRN if you need the money at all - if census is low you will be cancelled every day! I know a PRN employee whose paycheck had nothing but call pay on it - didn't work at all for two weeks.


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