7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Picking Up Per Diem RN Shifts

nurse picking up PRN RN Jobs near her
Written by
Miranda Kay, RN
April 10, 2023

Table of Contents

Working in the nursing field has its challenges and its advantages. If you've ever wondered how to make more profit doing the same job and have the same satisfaction at the end of the day of having helped your patients, these questions are for you. Are you ready to take the plunge and pick up PRN nursing jobs as an RN?

1. What Does the PRN Medical Abbreviation Stand for?

PRN stands for "pro re nata" in the Latin language, a medical abbreviation for "as required" or "when necessary."

For healthcare personnel, PRN nursing jobs (also commonly called per diem shifts) are shifts registered nurses pick up because the hospital or healthcare facility has a need. Sometimes the need for per diem RNs arises urgently, and other times the nurse can pick up the shifts and create their schedule in advance by a couple of weeks or more. 

2. What are the Advantages of Working PRN Shifts?

The advantages of working PRN shifts are many. Some examples include:

  • Shifts can be taken as often as the RN desires, meaning they can choose their schedule freely, which leaves them time to spend with family, at home, with friends, have holidays off, etc.
  • PRN RNs can earn more money than those RNs working on a fixed contract since they are not eligible for benefits, so hospitals tend to pay better hourly wages than they would generally pay. Therefore, per diem RNs often make much more money than their staff counterparts, putting them at wages annually greater than the average nursing salary in their field.
  • RNs who choose to work PRN shifts tend to improve their overall skills as they work in various environments. This ability to work in different areas and apply all their knowledge constantly helps them adapt to more situations and makes them valuable personnel for almost any institution.

Read More About the Benefits of Working Per Diem Shifts Here

3. What Qualities are Needed to Work as a PRN Nurse?

Nurses who work PRN shifts need some qualities to take on nursing jobs in the gig economy. Some of them are:

  • Flexibility. Flexibility is the key so that nurses can accommodate any shift and situation.
  • Critical Thinking. RNs need to use critical thinking when faced with new situations, which is likely to happen often because of the type of work involved in these shifts.
  • Organizational Skills. Not having a fixed contract, RNs must be good planners and organized to ensure they always have work to do.
  • Patience and perseverance. Keep persisting and looking for shifts, especially in the beginning. There are a lot of jobs for new RNs and experienced nurses waiting to be picked up, but it is also true that you have to get started somewhere. Downloading the Nursa app is a great place to do just that.

4. Should I Pick Up PRN Jobs as an RN?

Yes, of course! Every nurse can see many advantages to having a full-time, permanent job, but it is also true that there are many advantages to working PRN jobs as an RN. No matter where your nursing career takes you, only expertise and insight can be gained by picking up per diem jobs. PRN shifts are talked about as the future of nursing, and rightly so, given that by taking shifts where needed most, RNs are even helping to support the healthcare crisis, which helps improve patient care, safety, and experience.

5. Am I Ready to Work Per Diem Shifts?

Generally, seeing the advantages of working per diem (or PRN) shifts perks the curiosity of any RN. Only by making that leap and occasionally picking up a shift can you be sure it's your lifestyle. Try our app to see how easy it is to pick up per diem shifts.

6. Can I Pick up PRN Jobs as a New Nurse?

The last few years have seen a growing crisis in the number of nurses staffing hospitals. Each state is different, but there is a state of emergency in some cities due to staffing shortages. This has eliminated the requirement for at least one year's experience, which was the case a few years ago. Now all new and old nurses can pick up PRN jobs, so finding jobs as a new RN is not difficult anymore.

Read More About How to Find New Grad, Nursing Jobs

7. Is it Possible to Work Full-Time With PRN Shifts?

Through the proper organization, working full-time PRN shifts is entirely possible. This makes nurses keep their licenses active and earn a better average salary than nurses on traditional contracts.

Miranda Kay, RN
Blog published on:
April 10, 2023

Miranda is a Registered Nurse, Medical Fact Checker, and Publishing Editor at Nursa. Her work has been featured in publications including the American Nurses Association (ANA), Healthcare IT Outcomes, International Living, and more.

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