You may be wondering what a per diem nurse is, or how does per diem work, so let’s start by breaking down the word per diem. The word comes from Latin roots and translates to “for each day”, per meaning “for each” and diem meaning “day”.
We see this term used a lot when describing types of employment, like per diem nursing for example. The difference between a per diem nurse and a staff nurse is that per diem employees work as needed. They also get paid based on the days they work instead of a base salary.
Is per diem and part-time nursing the same?
Another similar term you might hear when it comes to employment is part-time. It can be easy to get per diem and part-time mixed up, but they have their differences. One of the key differentiators between per diem and part-time is that per diem does not have a set schedule or guaranteed hours, while part-time typically has both. Another key difference between the two is pay. Per diem rates are typically higher than traditionally employed nurses.
There are many benefits to working as a per diem nurse! Keep reading to explore five reasons why you should try per diem nursing.
Control your own work schedule
One of the many perks of working as a per diem nurse is that you can choose to work when you want. You have the ability to accept or decline shifts as they fit in with your schedule, allowing you the flexibility to create a balanced work-life ratio. Creating your own work schedule also means that you can take a vacation whenever you want! The days of worrying about important life events conflicting with work are over.
Choose where you work
If you don’t want to commit to working at one facility, per diem nursing jobs offer you the freedom to choose where you work. Working at a different site can even decrease your risk of experiencing burnout. Instead of working at the same place every day, working the same routine, and being around the same people, you can move around and experience different facilities. In doing so you can meet new people, network, and learn a new skill or two along the way!
Did you just finish a long COVID assignment? If you’re in need of a break, per diem nursing is perfect for just that. Spend some time at home and pick up shifts when you’re feeling refreshed and ready for a new assignment. Having flexibility as a per diem nurse also allows you to try new hobbies in your free time. Always wanted to have a side gig? Now is the time to explore your options!
Take advantage of high compensation
Working as a per diem nurse, you’re most likely going to pick up last-minute shifts or even work holidays while staff nurses take time off. As a result, per diem rates are higher compared to a staff nurse. Since per diem nurses are filling last minute shifts, hospitals are usually willing to pay more to get the help they need. Higher pay allows for hospitals to get the shifts covered quickly. Other aspects that might affect your wage are location, specialty, and shift. Work with your recruiter to explore your options and go where the pay is highest!
As you pick up shifts as a per diem nurse, you’ll begin moving around to different facilities which will help you to gain more experience and learn new skills. You will be able to step out of your comfort zone instead of working in the same environment every day and walking through the same daily routine. Working at different facilities gives you first-hand experience and the opportunity to observe how each one operates differently than the next. As you learn from fellow healthcare experts, you are advancing your skill set and career at the same time. If you classify yourself as a hands-on learner, this is the perfect opportunity to gain experience!
Have you always wanted to try out per diem nursing? There’s no better time to start than now!