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Using prn staff instead of posting day position

Nurses   (672 Views | 14 Replies)

Lifeofanicunurse specializes in Nicu.

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I work as a full time on nights, some of my coworkers have been on nights over 10 years and are still waiting for a dayshift position to open up. Day shift is consistently staffed by contingent staff who are technically night shift who work full time hours. There are many days where day shift will be short and they ask nights to help out. These contingent nurses have been abusing the system and using it as full time hours without the commitment. How is this okay? What about all the night shift people who want to work days!? Especially since night shift is over staffed. Most days there are 8 nurses on, with 4 continents and sometimes a traveler float nurse. I am just feeling so frustrated. It seems the only way to get on days is to go contingent but work full time hours. Has anyone else experienced this? 

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MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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That's not unusual if there are day shift nurses out on leave, they can't post permanent position to fill those holes.  

I don't think the prn nurses have been "abusing the system" since they aren't the ones that determine when prn staffing will be used vs posting new permanent positions.  

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Lifeofanicunurse specializes in Nicu.

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But they aren’t on leave. It’s filling positions from employees retiring, going to another unit, and two were terminated. So in the last year we lost 5 or 6 on day shift and there haven’t been any positions posted. So they are hurting bad on day shift. But just rely on using contingent staff instead of posting positions. 

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3 Followers; 37,070 Posts; 98,529 Profile Views

Worked for an employer that basically did something like this.  They had a group of "cronies" that would do the fill-in work.  Imagine they called the "crony" patrol partly in order to keep them satisfied that their interests were considered first before taking the trouble of bringing a new hire into the fold.  If I knew I could rely on that call on occasion, it might help me be responsive to that employer instead of looking for another place to try to get work.

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morelostthanfound has 27 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CVOR, General/Trauma Surgery.

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I'm not entirely sure why you are angry with contingent nurses  This is your nurse manager's attempt to control costs and maintain staff nurses in difficult to fill positions (night shift).  Also, although per diem nurses are paid a higher hourly rate, they typically don't receive benefits (insurance, 401K, paid holidays...) and as such, are a big cost savings for the hospital. Fair practice? no.  Commonplace practice? Yes, sorry

Edited by morelostthanfound

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kp2016 has 20 years experience.

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Honestly I don't really understand exactly what you mean. But bottom line, if you have been waiting 10 years for day shift and some nurses are being given those shifts in front of staff that have been waiting longer, this is a cultural issue on your unit and unlikely to change anytime soon. Who gets which shift is almost entirely a management decision, if you feel this is not being handled fairly your only real options are 

A: Become best buddies with the manager who does the schedule

B: Have the manager who does the schedule hate you with a passion- this helped me get night shift once on a very toxic ward were everyone wanted to be away from our manger, but that doesn't really help you

C resign and apply to a new unit for a day shift position.

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience as a RN.

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From a management point of view there is no problem.

The day shift is being staffed, and they are probably saving money in the unit budget when the contingent staff gets no paid benefits.

 

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16 hours ago, Lifeofanicunurse said:

Day shift is consistently staffed by contingent staff who are technically night shift who work full time hours.

I don't understand this. A lot of contingent staff are "any shift"ers. That's just how they are hired in some places. "We will call you we need you" doesn't technically have anything to do with a particular shift, except that at the time of hire the employer might choose to disclose that currently most of the available hours tend to be on a certain shift, and the potential contingent employee may let the employer know that most of their availability is at a certain time of day/night.

I guess you are saying that these contingent employees pick up their hours on the day shift when you feel they should have to pick up night shift hours.

That isn't for you to worry about, though, and very likely has nothing to do with their actual agreement with their employer anyway.

 

16 hours ago, Lifeofanicunurse said:

These contingent nurses have been abusing the system and using it as full time hours without the commitment.

 

What abuse are you talking about and what commitment do you feel they should be upholding?

If you resent your employment commitments, you too can drop your insurance, employer retirement contributions, PTO, seniority, etc., etc. if necessary in order to find a position working the hours you want to work. Or you could just find a FT position elsewhere that has benefits and the hours you want.

There is no band of criminals robbing you of the day shift hours you think you should have. If you are upset with your employer that is one thing, but your attitude toward your coworkers is misplaced frustration.

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llg has 43 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

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I agree with the other responses.   Contingent staff is just that -- contingent.   If they are not needed, they stay home and don't get paid anything.   If they are needed (on any shift), they get the opportunity to work those available shifts.

They are contingent staff -- not permanent full-time night shift staff.   When shifts are available on the day shift, they can work them.   But in exchange for that opportunity, they have probably given up their benefits (e.g. insurance, retirement, paid vacation, etc.)    They also know (or should know) that if the patient census goes down and they are not needed, they will not get any shifts to work.

Each type of position -- full time, part time, and contingent -- has its advantages and disadvantages.   Pick the type of position that fits your overall needs the best, and live with your choice.

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JadedCPN has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU.

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On 1/12/2020 at 3:04 PM, Lifeofanicunurse said:

These contingent nurses have been abusing the system and using it as full time hours without the commitment. How is this okay? 

Your anger is misplaced at the contingent nurses - they aren't abusing the system, they are working with what they're given. It is okay because your management has said it is ok - that is where your frustration should be directed.

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391 Posts; 6,425 Profile Views

We have PRN staff who just pick up a few extra shifts, and we have PRN staff who basically work FT.  

Working PRN gives extra hourly pay and flexibility.  It's great for working with a busy lifestyle, and I've seen a lot of new moms transition to PRN.

On the flip side, working PRN gives up benefits like health insurance, union protection, PTO, and guaranteed hours.

I am tempted to go PRN because I'd love to reduce my weekend and holiday commitment, and I already get my insurance through my husband's employer.  

But I can't bring myself to to it because if something goes wrong, I want the union behind me. Plus, there are some PRN nurses who get really shafted when they have multiple shifts cancelled during a pay period.  As a FT employee, my contract states that I can go in for my control hours, even if the hospital wants to down-staff me.  During lower census times, I've seen PRN nurses beg regular staff to call and ask to be down-staffed, in the hopes that the PRNs won't be cancelled again.  

I agree it stinks that your management has chosen a staffing strategy that prevents you from getting a permanent position on the shift you want. I'd be upset if I were in your place, too.  The question is what are you willing to do about it?  Would you be willing to give up your guaranteed hours, seniority, PTO, and health insurance to work as a contingency nurse on day shift?  It's easy to see the benefits of the contingency nurses, but given the cons and well as the pros, would you be willing to switch places with them?

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Been there,done that has 33 years experience as a ASN, RN.

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On 1/12/2020 at 5:44 PM, Lifeofanicunurse said:

But they aren’t on leave. It’s filling positions from employees retiring, going to another unit, and two were terminated. So in the last year we lost 5 or 6 on day shift and there haven’t been any positions posted. So they are hurting bad on day shift. But just rely on using contingent staff instead of posting positions. 

Administration has found a way to save  $$$. That's what administration does.  You will not be able to change corporate bs. Move on.

Best wishes.

 

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