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Parent Shifts Draw Nurses Back to Work

Parent Shifts Draw Nurses Back to Work

Megan Malugani /

‘Mini-Job’ Comes with Trade-Offs

Nurses don’t have to be parents to participate in the clinic’s program, Young says. Any RN whose lifestyle cannot accommodate a traditional nursing schedule is eligible.

While parent-shift nurses don’t receive benefits, they aren’t subjected to traditional rotations either, so working nights and weekends aren’t required. They are also exempt from working holidays.

The 64 nurses participating in the Cleveland Clinic’s parent-shift program can choose their own start and end times, but they must work in two- to six-hour increments at least eight hours a month. They can accumulate their hours on weekdays, evenings or weekends.

Strong initially worried that “it sounded too good to be true,” and that the regular nursing staff would resent RNs who could dictate their own hours and who may have been out of the profession for a while. Strong’s trepidation was unfounded, however. Full-time staff nurses “will take whatever help they can get, whenever they can get it,” says Strong, who went through the clinic’s refresher orientation program. When full-timers joke about wanting to leave at 2:30 p.m. too, Strong reminds them of the part-time paycheck and lack of benefits that accompany what she calls her “mini-job.”

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