Per Diem Nursing: Who Is It NOT For?
If you have friends in the nursing profession that work per diem through an agency, you have probably asked yourself, “why am I not pursuing agency work?” When you begin to consider the ability to create your own schedule, the option to pick and choose where you work, no requirements of working on weekends or holidays, and a high pay rate… who wouldn’t want that? While per diem nursing has many positives, it isn’t always for everyone – it takes a special nurse to fill per diem shoes. Here are a few reasons why per diem nursing may not be the right choice for you.
You don’t like change
A per diem nurse has to be one of the most flexible people on the planet. Since per diem nurses are in high demand, you are typically only going to get one hour of orientation at each facility before your first shift. Nurses have to be ready to hit the ground running, and flexible to work wherever they are needed within the facility. They also need to be able to jump right in and start helping despite not always knowing the computer system, where everything is on the med cart, or what all the residents’ names are. Per diem nurses have to be willing to ask questions when necessary and step outside their comfort zones at new facilities that may do things differently than they are used to.
You need a set schedule
Per diem nurses also need to be flexible when it comes to their schedule. There are no guaranteed schedules or set number of hours, which means that your shifts can be canceled, so the paycheck that you were counting on for that particular day may suddenly become unavailable. While we do our best to find a replacement shift for you, there may not be another option for that day and shift, or it might be 100 miles away. If you are a nurse that wants a guaranteed schedule with a 10 minute driving distance at all times, per diem nursing may not be for you.
You prefer specific shifts
Per diem nursing also requires being flexible with your shift preferences. At Nurses PRN, we try to have a variety of options available for our nurses. However, there may be days where, for example, only the PM shift is available when AM is your first preference. In order to get the hours they are looking for, a per diem nurse may need to be willing to work a couple different shift times. If you don’t have the flexibility to do so, per diem nursing may not be for you.
While per diem has its long list of advantages, there are several reasons why per diem may not be a good fit for you. We are more than happy to help walk you through the process if you are considering working for an agency. Our goal is to give it to you straight so you know exactly what you are getting yourself in to. Give us a call, we are more than happy to help!