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Wants to work per diem in addition to full-time job

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Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Nurse Beth,

Hi! I am a nurse with over a year experience in acute care on a medical floor. I moved away from family in NYC for this acute care  experience since all the hospitals in the city require acute care experience. Currently I work 3 days a week, which I arrange in a way that I go home every other week for about 6-7 days. I was wondering if I could pick up a per diem job while I am back in the city. Do you think it is a good idea to work per diem while working full time? If yes, what area would you recommend I look into that is not very stressful?

Dear Wants to Work Per Diem,

Is your goal to find a full-time job in your home city, NYC? If you land a per diem job, you may also be able to land a full-time job closer to home, if that is your goal.

It's fine to work a per diem job on top of your full-time job if you have the energy for it. You can gain great experience and exposure to other settings, which enhances your practice. You also expand your network. 

You just have to watch out for times when your 2 jobs may collide. When you orient to a per diem job, it may overlap with your other job's schedule. Just be sure that your primary job comes first, and you work your per diem job around your primary job commitment.

Employers don't like to hear that you couldn't attend staff meetings, complete competencies on time, or anything else due to your "other job". 

Per diem jobs can be less stressful just because they're not full-time. Some nurses prefer to work per diem in a different area, such as an ED nurse working per diem in ICU. To qualify, though, you may need experience in a different speciality- and right now, your experience is MedSurg.

See what you can find and best wishes!

Nurse Beth