You might expect that a daylong conference of the Orthodox Jewish Nurses Association would be held on a Sunday. Instead, it’s scheduled for Thursday, May 19, at the Jewish Center of Teaneck. The choice to meet on a weekday is one clue to the very reason for the organization’s existence. Their inability to work on Saturdays often imperils Orthodox nurses’ job prospects, and when they do get hired they ordinarily compensate by working on Sundays and legal holidays.

“We have unique issues related to keeping Shabbos and getting jobs,” said L’via Weisinger of Teaneck, who has been a registered nurse for 20 years. She is the vice president of the national organization, which now has 1,051 members on its Facebook forum.

“Every nursing job in a hospital requires working on Saturday,” Ms. Weisinger said. “In the New York area, where lots of Orthodox nurses are looking for jobs, if a unit’s nurse manager hires one Orthodox nurse she usually won’t take another because of the Saturday accommodation. Other nurse managers won’t even consider hiring someone who won’t work on Saturday.

“It’s one of the biggest employment barriers to Orthodox nurses in hospitals, so we often end up in clinics, doctors’ offices, schools and camps.” (Read more here