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Working 2 jobs... Is it worth it?

Specializes in ICU, Med/Surg.

So after months and months of losing hours and being called off at my full time job I decided to get a prn position at another hospital. I am completely out of PTO at my full time job due to being called off around 12-24hours per pay period for the past 5 months. So I applied for a prn position on a medsurg floor at another hospital and they hired me right away.. Here is the catch. They are making me orient 4 days a week for 7 weeks. I'm not a new nurse and I have 3 years of experience on a medsurg floor. Luckily my manager is working with me at my full time job, basically b/c she knows she has to. But I'm working 4 8hr shifts at my new job (orientation) and 2 12 hour shifts a week at my full time job.... I'm on my 5th week of orientation so I'm almost done. But I'm mentally and physically exhausted. I never see my husband and I am beginning to wonder why on earth I ever decided to do this... Oh yea b/c there are bills to pay! :cool:

I just need some encouragement. Things will get better once I'm off orientation b/c I'll only be working at my new job once a week... but I'm not sure if I can make it! I feel I've had plenty of orientation and I'm thankful they offer this much orientation b/c some people need it... But 7 weeks of orientation for someone with experience?? Sheesh

Ok thanks for letting me vent....


I think it's all in what you make it...I work 2 jobs, and have a 3rd one that I work 1-2 days per month. I work full time in a hospital (med surg) 36 hours a week and then I work home care, so it's much more flexible, but I do that 3-4 days per week, and I will tell you that initially I started doing the homecare job for the experience, because I wanted to try something new, but now I just really can't turn the money down. I make twice per hour what I make at my full time job, and I only work 1/2 the hours. I usually take a week off from my homecare job every 6 weeks or so, and I don't get off the couch, so I definatley feel your pain of being utterly exhausted, but by the end of that week, I'm ready to go again.

I think that once your orientation is over things will probably get back to normal for you. Your PRN job will become just that PRN and you will have more flexibility in saying yes I'll take that shift or no I don't want that one. Your full time job however, they need a reality check, calling you off 12-24 hours per week--that's crazy! What do they do for the people that have no PTO left? They have to guarantee full time people their hours?

You are almost done with orientation hang in there. Then you can work when you want there. It will be less stressful knowing you are getting hours to make up for the one you are losing. What is your minimum commitment on the PRN job?

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Has 14 years experience. Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

This is a temporary situation that, I assume, will help you make ends meet in the long run. Any nurse who has a backup plan in the form of a second job is, in my humble opinion, bracing oneself against a slumping economy where slashed hours, low census, and lighter wallets have become the unfortunate norm.

I think you should take the second job, but the decision is purely yours.

Good luck to you!

TigerGalLE, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, Med/Surg.

Your full time job however, they need a reality check, calling you off 12-24 hours per week--that's crazy! What do they do for the people that have no PTO left? They have to guarantee full time people their hours?

I'm thinking they don't have to guarantee anyone their hours b/c they don't. When we get called off we still earn PTO for the hours we get called off... But our PTO doesn't add up to the hours we lose. The problem is low census and being over staffed. They did away with our baylor shifts and told them to choose full time or part time, well they all chose full time so now those nurses have to be worked into the week as well.. We are a 36 bed unit and some days there are 8 nurses scheduled. We can only run with 7 and that is if we are slap full....

What is your minimum commitment on the PRN job?

Just 32 hours a quarter.

RhiaRN75, RN

Specializes in ER.

Hang in there! It will be alot better after orientation is complete!! You're almost done- treat yourself to maid service for the next couple of weeks and buy some great coffee :)

I did this when I transistioned from my first to second job. I was working Baylor on third shift for job1 when we moved for hubby to complete college, to a new town about 30miles away. NewTown had a local hospital not associated/in competition w/ job 1. Job1 was where I started nursing- CNA, most of my clinicals, and then as an RN. My Mom worked there, I had my babies there, so it was 'home'. It was also the place that went from a local stand alone entity to being bought out by a large 'drain 'em and flip 'em' conglomerate. After each flip- it just got worse. So, I put in for PRN at job2. Similiar to your situation in that we were all called off alot in the summer (but had mandatory OT in the winter.) I had 6-8wks orientation at job2, FT hours and the first part of it was on days- ugh. Hubby was just in school part-time for the summer, so that helped but I had no life except job1, job2, and sleep. The last two weeks, (though I was at least on the same shift at both jobs), my hubby had a family member who was diagnosed w/ a terminal illness and sent home w/ hospice. That's when I almost didn't make it. I didn't sleep in my own bed for those last two weeks as every day off was spent helping out. In the long run though- it was worth it because I had the flexibility of PRN and could help out a lot more when it really mattered.

Eventually, I quit job1 entirely. After flip #I can't remember, it was just too risky. I learned from job2 that MS nursing may be hard, but it didn't have to be hopeless as implied by mgmt at job1. I stayed PRN yet working FT hrs at job2 for years. PRN=more money. Luckily, no immediate family had a major illness, so the lack of health insurance was never a pressing concern. I worked my fair share of weekends and holidays, the hospital never did approve a FTE for my floor even though I basically was, so it worked for all concerned. All those left-over bills from nursing school and maternity leave were finally paid off, a bit put back, and I wasn't in fear of losing my license every night I worked.

You're almost done with the worst bit!!! Hang in there, and in two weeks have a night out w/ the hubby, relax, and sleep 24hrs straight, lol. It'll be worth it.

hey, are you at least getting paid for the orientation right? i would do it, the second job isn't much of a committment and it will get much lighter post-orientation.

mamamerlee, LPN

Has 35 years experience. Specializes in home health, dialysis, others.

Hey - - I've been a nurse 30+ years - - they still want a full orientation. They still make me take all the tests. Be glad that both places are working with you!

You must do what you have to do to pay the bills. It is not a bad thing to work two jobs, it's just exhausting. I personally said that is something that I would not do unless it was absolutely necessary. I work in Northern California and about 80% of the nurses that I know work two jobs. They look at me as if I am crazy when I tell them that I only have one job, however I have very little debt so my situation may be different from theirs. I only work between 48-56hrs a pay period and I make good money doing that, not to mention that I am the only one working right now, due to this economy, but we still live comfortably.

I am saying this to let you know that you do what you have to do to pay the bills, but if it is too exhausting look around and see what expenses you can cut, so that you could perhaps decrease your hours at work.


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