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Nurse First News

Nurses PRN: The Good, the Bad, the Per Diem...

Posted March 4, 2019

I am sure there are lots of rumors (some true and some maybe not so much!) in the nursing world in regards to the ups and downs of working as a per diem nurse. Remember, per diem means by the day and a per diem nurse creates their own schedule, but that schedule is not always guaranteed. This means that there are some perks and of course, some downfalls, to working per diem.

In order to give you the best reflection of life as a per diem nurse, I went to the experts themselves — my own nurses that work for Nurses PRN! I asked them for some honest feedback in regards to the positives and negatives of working per diem.

Per Diem Positives

Overall, the majority of my nurses responded that their favorite part of working for Nurses PRN is that they get to create their own schedule and they love the people here! Shannon, who has worked full time per diem for Nurses PRN since 2015, stated “Nurses PRN is a great company to work for. I love the support.” One of our values here is People, and we specifically focus on our connections with people and helping each and every nurse grow, develop, and succeed.

Nurses also really enjoy the new experiences they encounter as well as a higher pay rate in a lot of cases. Natasha has worked part time per diem for Nurses PRN since late 2017 and said, “Since becoming a Nurses PRN per diem LPN, I absolutely love going to work. I enjoy going to different facilities, learning different computer systems and meeting new residents and employees. I also enjoy that I can work half as much and make the same as I was when I was full time at a local facility.”

The Downside of Per Diem

Of course, as with most things in life, there has to be some bad with the good. The number one thing my nurses do not enjoy about the per diem world is the cancellations. Because shifts are not guaranteed, you can be cancelled up to 2 hours before the start of your shift. Obviously, this can be a problem if you were counting on that day of work. We realize that here and do our very best to try to find work elsewhere for each cancelled shift.

Another expressed concern is the fact that you do not get reimbursed for mileage. We do try to keep you as close to home as possible, but many nurses have a travel radius of 30-45 miles around their home in order to provide the most options of open shifts. To some, they don’t mind the drive, but the extra miles on your car and gas to pay for is something to consider when thinking of working as a per diem nurse. Other downfalls reported include not having a thorough orientation on your first shift, and not enough support in the facilities from their own staff.

Is Per Diem Nursing for You?

So, glass half full or glass half empty is the best way to boil it down: are the pros good enough to outweigh the cons? These were just some of my number one answers and opinions for both the good and bad, but there are several more things to consider. I try to be as honest and transparent as possible when it comes to the decision of working solely as a per diem nurse, so hopefully this helps if you are trying to make that decision! It’s not for everyone, but we’ll promise to take good care of you here at Nurses PRN if you decide working per diem is for you!