What is the best way for a full-time employee to ask to go part time?

By | 2022-02-11T16:12:50-05:00 July 8th, 2010|0 Comments


Dear Donna,

What is the best way for a full-time employee to ask to go part time?

A little background: I’m an RN who was hired as full time and signed a two-year contract. I have been with my employer for a year. I would like to work part time because I am feeling burned out. I don’t want to quit, but I would like to take it easier so that I don’t hate nursing. How can I request a switch to part-time status? Should I first go to my department manager or human resources? Should I be prepared to offer a reason for wanting to go part time, because I don’t think they will understand my reason of trying to avoid burnout.


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Natalie,

Go first to your department manager and discuss the situation. You might say that you need some extra time to attend to personal matters, which would be true. You don’t need to be more specific. However, you also can discuss with your manager that you are feeling overwhelmed. There are many possible reasons for this – lack of time-management skills, fear, self-doubt, lack of support, lack of adequate self-care, etc. Your manager may be able to help in some way.

Because you signed a contract, I don’t know what they will be able to do for you, but it never hurts to ask. You may be able to work something out.

I can’t tell from your post if you are a new graduate or not, but if you are, I also recommend that you read Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional (www.Nurse.com/ce/7010) to help you get better acclimated, manage your stress and keep things fresh and interesting. To help you deal with your stress level and feelings of being burned out, watch my recent webinar, Taking Care of You Inc., The Business of Self-Care (http://CE.Nurse.com/WEB15/Taking-Care-of-You,-Inc.,-The-Business-of-Self-Care.)

My best wishes,


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