Working as a per diem nurse means working on a day-to-day basis with no set schedule and under no set contract. Per Diem nurses register with agencies that get them work as it becomes available. This work could be for a day or a week, in a hospital down the road or the clinic across town. Often, per diem nurses are needed to cover when other nurses are out sick, away on vacation, or when a facility finds themselves short staffed for any reason. The best part of being a per diem nurse is that they can choose whether they would like to work at the offered job or not. There are many advantages to working as a per diem nurse but you must be flexible, reliable and able to adapt to a variety of new situations quickly.
Per Diem work is usually not available to nurses that have just graduated since they require a three month allowance for training and orientation. Registered nurses (RNs) looking for per diem work are usually required to have at least two years experience as a RN in the field before they can register with an agency. Most certified nurse assistants (CNAs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are required to have at least one year of experience working in the field before they can work per diem nursing jobs. To work in a specialty unit you must have the correct level of certification or experience.
There is no set per diem nursing salary due to the fact that there is no contract between the nurse and the agency. However, most agencies pay by the hour because a nurse’s workday can be more or less than a standard eight hour day. The type of work the nurse does during the job will affect the pay scale. For instance, working as an RN you won’t earn as much as if you went to work in a specialty unit like intensive care or neonatal care. Often the time of the shift can affect the pay a per diem nurse is offered as well. For instance, working the night shift might pay more. That being said, per diem rates are very competitive and per diem nurses can often make more than their full-time counter parts for performing the same job. A per diem nurse will always be told what the pay rate is at the time of the job offer, so there are never any surprises. The only downside to per diem nursing is that you are never guaranteed work. You might get offered a job everyday for a month and then not get a call for a week.
Professional nurses that choose to work per diem have complete control and flexibility when it comes to deciding when and where they’ll work. If you are a nurse that likes to travel a lot this is a great benefit. Per Diem nurses can take as many long or short vacations as they want and still choose the region, hours and type of jobs they would like to perform. If you are a nurse that gets bored going to the same place and doing the same thing every day, a per diem job would be perfect for you. Imagine if you could schedule your career around your life?
Another advantage to per diem nursing is that they are able to try many different nursing jobs at various working facilities and environments. They may even discover an area of nursing that they had never considered trying before and love it. This can be especially important if they are considering choosing an advanced specialty in nursing.
If you are looking for part time nursing jobs per diem is an excellent choice as well. Maybe you are a new mom or wanting to take continuing education course and don’t want to work a full time position. Per Diem nursing can offer you just that.