Why do so many nurses work multiple jobs?

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    Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 15 years experience.

Why am I working multiple jobs?

This is a tough habit I am working on breaking. I had too many jobs! One full-time in appeals, two part-time teaching jobs, and one legal nurse consulting job. WHAT AM I DOING? Four jobs, really? Is it fear of missing out? Is it just too easy to pick up more employment, to spend more time to make a little more money with these side hustles? These were all jobs working from home, so it's easy to justify in my head working more in my jammies and slippers. 😄 

But when my daughter is disappointed that mommy is working yet again, something's gotta give. So I quit two of those part-time jobs, and will likely leave the third part-time job in the new year. It seems weird to just work one job, but ... it's enough! We're doing fine money-wise. 

Am I alone in this? 

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 8 years experience.

I like to work multiple jobs because it keeps my burnout in check and offers me the flexibility to work in one position more/less frequently. It also is nice to make the extra bucks. 

Specializes in Operating room. Has 2 years experience.

I need boat money /sarcasm.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

3,655 Posts

Specializes in dialysis. Has 30 years experience.

In my case, I keep a couple of prns on the back burner,  as my dialysis gig gets overstaffed/undercensused occasionally, but my bills remain the same. My body hates it, but it likes having a roof overhead, food in belly, reliable transportation 

RNperdiem, RN

4,572 Posts

Has 14 years experience.

I don't see this where I currently work. I work in a hospital with lot of overtime with critical staffing pay, so nurses can make extra money without finding another job.

In a previous job, I did work with a lot of nurses who had a second job in a SNF or did PRN home health. Most of these nurses worked extra to send money home to their families overseas. 

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 11 years experience.

I don't understand it either. If I want more hours, it is easy enough to get more. I actually get scared when I hear of a nurse that works 3-12s at one job and 3-12s at another. That is just unsafe. 

Hoosier_RN, MSN

3,655 Posts

Specializes in dialysis. Has 30 years experience.
12 hours ago, mmc51264 said:

I don't understand it either. If I want more hours, it is easy enough to get more

I wish it were that easy for me. Some weeks out of the year, I'll have a little OT, other weeks, lucky to get 30 hours. Hubby's and I both fluctuate, so other things on the side to guarantee that the bills get paid 

Lunah, MSN, RN

33 Articles; 13,729 Posts

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 15 years experience.
On 11/27/2022 at 7:45 PM, Hoosier_RN said:

In my case, I keep a couple of prns on the back burner,  as my dialysis gig gets overstaffed/undercensused occasionally, but my bills remain the same. My body hates it, but it likes having a roof overhead, food in belly, reliable transportation 

Maybe that's my problem - none of my part-time jobs are PRN, they are all scheduled things with deadlines. The teaching jobs had hard weekly deadlines or grading deadlines, and the legal nurse consulting stuff had a five-day spread where you could do the work, but still, those were weekly deadlines. There was nothing that could be picked up and put down for a period of time, really. 

The last remaining part-time teaching job will end for me on 1/8/2022, when this session is over. I am putting it out to the universe! LOL. I probably need to put it out to our faculty director, too. 😄

I forgot, I also have an article to peer review by 12/8. HAHAHA. 

There is something wrong with me. I really just want to do yoga and crochet.

20 hours ago, mmc51264 said:

I don't understand it either. If I want more hours, it is easy enough to get more. I actually get scared when I hear of a nurse that works 3-12s at one job and 3-12s at another. That is just unsafe. 

I had an ER coworker who did this - three days ER, three days ICU. She was caring for multiple family members who lived with her. I loved working with her! I hope she eventually found time to care for herself.

kbrn2002, ADN, RN

3,729 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis. Has 21 years experience.

EH, not me, LOL. I am a one job person. I devote enough of my time and energy to my one job. I'm not rich by any means but the bills get paid and I treasure my time off too much to spend any of it working a second, third or gasp! fourth job. And I don't even have the excuse of having kids at home to justify spending as much time as possible not working. It's just me, my husband and my pets, kids are all grown and gone living their own lives. I enjoy working when I am there, but I also really enjoy not working when I am not.

Lunah, MSN, RN

33 Articles; 13,729 Posts

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 15 years experience.
23 hours ago, kbrn2002 said:

I enjoy working when I am there, but I also really enjoy not working when I am not.

Can I be you when I grow up?! 🙂 I need to learn how to be a one-job person. I am getting there. I tell myself it's OK to be still. I did Yoga teacher training last year and found that was my biggest challenge — stillness. I think I will make it my goal in 2023. Kinda goofy, but there it is. 

Specializes in Telemetry, Primary Care. Has 8 years experience.

The nurses that I knew that worked a 2nd job and/or always picked up extra shifts was simply because they needed the extra money. I'm a firm believer of, the more you make the more you spend. As nurses, it's easy to pick up extra shifts whereas a typical M-F salaried job doesn't really have as an easy opportunity as we do to make that extra somewhat big extra paycheck. Most of the nurses around my age at the time (mid 20s to mid 30s) mostly were working extra to save up for a house or just recently bought one. I, on the other hand loved my 4 days off and when I went part time 3 years ago as a floor nurse, 5 days off was paradise. But I recently gave up that paradise to move up in life I guess you could say.

ThePrincessBride, MSN, RN, NP

1 Article; 2,592 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, NICU. Has 8 years experience.
On 11/29/2022 at 3:21 PM, Lunah said:

Maybe that's my problem - none of my part-time jobs are PRN, they are all scheduled things with deadlines. The teaching jobs had hard weekly deadlines or grading deadlines, and the legal nurse consulting stuff had a five-day spread where you could do the work, but still, those were weekly deadlines. There was nothing that could be picked up and put down for a period of time, really. 

The last remaining part-time teaching job will end for me on 1/8/2022, when this session is over. I am putting it out to the universe! LOL. I probably need to put it out to our faculty director, too. 😄

I forgot, I also have an article to peer review by 12/8. HAHAHA. 

There is something wrong with me. I really just want to do yoga and crochet.

I had an ER coworker who did this - three days ER, three days ICU. She was caring for multiple family members who lived with her. I loved working with her! I hope she eventually found time to care for herself.

Yeah, you are doing it wrong (jk).

I was contemplating working three jobs once I got my first NP job (urgent care NP and 2 PRN bedside RN jobs) but then I was like, why? Life is too short. So now I am sticking with one full time gig and a PRN job that is more hobby than work. 

Each job it comes with their own scheduling requirements. Better to work overtime at one job or to have one primary gig and one PRN job with a lot of flexibility. But having a full time job, 2 part time jobs and then a consulting gig is too much. And have 2 FT jobs is insane...like why?

I think no more than 2 jobs unless absolutely necessary is best.