The permanent nursing position. The stuff that new grads dream of. But is the permanent position the one that will work best for you? A permanent nursing job brings steady work and steady pay with the option of full benefits. Holiday pay, medical benefits, vacation time add thousands of dollars worth of incentive to work full-time hours. Staff nurses are more visible to managers and directors and the chance for advancement is greater with a full-time schedule. A nurse knows her co-workers, is able to work as part of a team and has a voice in the unit policies and procedures. Some hospitals employ self-scheduling which adds greater flexibility in permanent nursing jobs. Patients benefit as well from the continuity of care that a regular staff member brings to their work. Even as a nurse in a private office is able to partake of these benefits.
The cons of a permanent nursing position, however, may outweigh the pros if a nurse is looking for a little more flexibility in her schedule. For the most part, hospital-based full-time nurses can expect to work every other weekend and every other holiday if they work on a unit. Sometimes this also involves rotating shifts which take their toll on sleep schedules and family hours. The full-time nurse may have to deal with unit politics and temperamental co-workers which can make working conditions difficult. The full-time nurse is also expected to attend in-service and staff meetings. If mandatory overtime is expected, the full-time nurse may be required to pick up their share of the shifts, and if the unit or floor is short-staffed one day, the full-time nurse can expected her phone to ring – sometimes every day on her days off.
The nursing profession offers so much flexibility in a nurse’s career that careful consideration should be given to the design of that career. Nurses are in the unique position of being in a high-demand and highly-skilled job, and they should use this position to the full advantage.