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Parent Shifts Draw Nurses Back to Work

Parent Shifts Draw Nurses Back to Work

Megan Malugani /

What if you could drop off your children at school, work a shift at the hospital, then be back to greet your kids after classes?

Such parent work shifts are ideal for nurses who want to keep a toe in the working world without sacrificing time with their kids. They’re becoming more common as hospitals get creative to fill staffing gaps.

Mary Strong, BSN, RN, works 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. two or three days a week in the vascular surgery unit at The Cleveland Clinic, which instituted a parent-shift program in August 2004. “It’s a dual benefit,” says Strong, a mother of two who left nursing for 10 years before finding her current position. “It benefits the floors, but it also benefits a lot of people like me who want to get back into nursing.”

The Cleveland Clinic’s parent-shift program was the brainchild of chief nursing officer Claire Young, MBA, RN. “It’s for people who want the best of both worlds,” she says. “They want to get their kids on and off the bus but want to spend some time working in between.”

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