Is Working Per Diem the Right Move For You?
Nursing professionals typically have a variety of options to choose from when deciding where and how they are going to work. From working twelve-hour shifts to four tens, to working days, nights, or afternoons, there are schedules to fit most lifestyles. Another option that is gaining in popularity is working per diem.
A per diem nurse typically works on a day to day basis depending on their stated availability and may also be called in during extreme staffing shortages or in emergency situations. Per diem nurses are rarely guaranteed any specific number of hours in a pay period and may be subject to having their shifts canceled on short notice. With plenty of opportunities available for per diem nurses, how do you know if it is the right move for you?
- Per diem offers flexibility. When you agree to take a per diem nursing position, you have the opportunity to declare what your availability is for taking shifts. Per diem positions often work well for nurses who are going back to school and want to pick up shifts around their class schedule or for those who have challenging family situations to work around. Per diem positions are also good options for nurses who are trying to pick up extra hours in addition to their normal work schedule.
- Foot in the door. If there is a particular hospital or facility that you are very interested in working at, taking a per diem position gives you an opportunity to “get your foot in the door” if a position opens up. By working per diem, the hiring manager will know who you are, will have some history of your skills and work habits and that familiarity will go a long way to getting you the position you’ve always wanted.
- Take the facility for a spin. Similar to getting your foot in the door at a facility, taking a per diem position allows you to learn about a place before jumping into a long-term, permanent assignment. Per diem nurses can learn about the work environment, the “office politics” and other important aspects of a facility without having to make a commitment.
- Show me the money. In most cases, per diem nurses will earn a higher hourly rate than full-time staff. This aspect of per diem is a double-edged sword in that while you are earning a higher hourly rate, it is because you aren’t getting benefits. The benefit aspect shouldn’t be an issue if you have health insurance through a spouse’s employer or from another source. It is also important to recognize that per diem nurses are the first to have their shift canceled or hours cut, so the extra hourly rate is only beneficial when you are actually working shifts!
Per diem positions have many benefits for nurses to consider. Whether you are looking to earn a little extra money to save for your dream vacation, to gain more experience, or to work around changes in your family or personal life, a per diem position may be the right move for you. Supplemental Health Care has a wide-variety of per diem positions available for you to consider. See what jobs are available near you by using our powerful job search portal here.
If you have thoughts or experiences with per diem positions, please share them with your colleagues in the comment section below. You can also drop us a line by visiting our Facebook page here.