There will be days when a nurse needs a day off—whether this absence is for a sick day or a personal leave—and hospitals and other healthcare centers will have to accommodate this shortage. Needless to say, staffing shortages can cause significant strain on everyday operations. In fact, research shows that having a good nurse-to-patient ratio is linked to effective patient care and safety.
Luckily, finding high-quality and hardworking nurses to fill critical staffing gaps in healthcare is easier than ever. That’s because more and more hospitals and healthcare centers are finding a way to meet staffing needs online by recruiting per diem (per day) nurses. As a result, per diem nurses play an essential role in medical facilities by helping to fill staffing gaps during peak patient loads or absences of regular staff members.
Are Good Nurses Hard to Find?
Good nurses are not hard to find as long as a medical facility knows where to look. Traditionally, finding a qualified clinician to fill a shift at a hospital took a fair amount of planning and verification procedures. And while staffing agencies that specialize in providing healthcare facilities with solutions still exist, there are now more affordable online platforms that expedite the process.
When it comes to finding last-minute coverage for nursing shifts, certain staffing apps now allow facilities to post shifts and fill them with registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), certified nursing assistants (CNAs), and other qualified clinicians almost immediately. In addition, apps allow healthcare facilities to reach thousands of qualified nurses across the U.S. who are looking to pick up local nursing shifts. Not only does an online platform amplify the pool of candidates for a healthcare facility, but it also ensures that large staffing gaps are less likely to occur.
All things considered, real-time staffing apps can be particularly useful when staff nurses take holidays or extended sick leave. Moreover, staffing platforms and apps facilitate direct contact between healthcare facilities and clinicians, making the hiring process seamless and efficient.
What's the Difference between Hiring a Nurse and Using a Freelancer?
The main difference between a nurse freelancer and a staff nurse is that a nurse freelancer picks up jobs on an as-needed basis, whereas a staff nurse works for a company regularly and is often eligible for the company’s employee benefits.
The term “freelance nurse” is often interchangeable with the term “per diem nurse,” as both can work on a contract basis with multiple facilities at a time. Many nurses choose to become freelancers so that they can have more flexibility in their work schedules. Although per diem nurses make a higher hourly rate, they don't receive employee benefits. Therefore, healthcare facilities benefit from freelance nurses, as using per diem nurses can be less expensive than hiring full-time nurses, staffing agencies, or travel nurses.
For those reasons, per diem nurses have become essential integrants of the healthcare workforce, and medical facilities across the nation rely on their last-minute coverage to provide critical support when needed.
What Is Contingency Staff in a Healthcare Facility?
Contingency staff in a healthcare center essentially refers to any professionals who are paid to work in the facility and are not part of the regular staff. Large hospitals or medical facilities may call in contingency staff in the following situations:
- Nursing staff shortages
- Peak patient volumes during certain holidays
- Natural disasters
Generally, contingency nursing staff will possess skills and qualifications similar to regular staff members, which can help maintain quality patient care at a healthcare center. Per diem and freelance nurses are in particularly high demand in long-term care facilities, such as assisted living, hospice, and memory care centers.
Furthermore, nurse staffing landscapes changed drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the nationwide problems with nurse burnout and nursing shortages to worsen. Now, hospitals and other healthcare facilities around the country are benefiting from contingent nurses since these nurses can work in multiple healthcare systems with minimal processing. And, since most experts believe that residual nurse staffing shortages from the COVID-19 pandemic are likely here to stay, the need for freelance and contingent nurses will continue to grow.
What Are the Best Ways to Recruit the Good Nurses?
Some of the best ways to recruit good nurses include using social media platforms or posting job opportunities using online staffing apps. That’s because online networks and apps can reach a large group of candidates in a very short amount of time. Additionally, partnering with nursing schools, attending job fairs, and making sure a nursing position offers competitive pay and provides room for professional growth can attract high-quality nurses.
How Does Nursa Help You Find Qualified Staff?
Getting the good nurses in the door at your medical facility doesn’t have to be an arduous or time-consuming task. With the help of real-time apps like Nursa, healthcare centers and hospitals can connect with qualified nurses who are ready to start working immediately. The best part about this app is that all nursing documentation and credentials can be loaded into the app, making the verification process for a facility's staffing manager quick and easy. When a healthcare facility manager posts a job, they will specify the exact documents and credentials they are looking for, including state-specific licenses that a nurse will need to be considered for a shift. After a healthcare administrator posts a shift, a local RN, LPN, CNA,, or other clinician can request a shift. Then, after a healthcare facility reviews the requested shift, they can accept and schedule the clinician right away. As a result, this eliminates the need for a paper trail and a drawn-out back-and-forth between a nursing candidate and a medical facility’s hiring manager.
How Do PRN Nurses Benefit from Working on a Per Diem Basis?
All in all, online job postings and staffing apps can streamline the recruitment process and allow medical facilities to post jobs in real-time, review applications and credentials, and communicate all in one platform. At the same time, per diem nurses benefit from picking up shifts in multiple healthcare settings because they learn how to adapt to new environments.
While competitive pay and work-life balance are two of the major perks of being a per diem nurse, working per diem also allows a nurse to gain exposure to diverse patient populations, learn new skills, and refine their clinical expertise every time they pick up a shift at a new facility. This, in turn, can make them more attractive to a future hiring manager looking for a per diem nurse with diverse skills.
Recruiting a Good Nurse All from One App
Independent-contractor nurses are incredibly valuable because they provide flexible staffing solutions for hospitals and clinics in need. They can help fill critical shifts when regular staff members call out sick or when there is a sudden increase in patient volume.
In addition, per diem nurses are often highly experienced and able to adapt quickly to different work environments. Today, posting to social networks and using online platforms that work in real-time is the fast-track way to finding some of the best nurses in the nation.
Looking for a trained RN, LPN, or CNA to fill a shift at your facility? Make sure you download the Nursa App to connect to a local nursing professional looking to pick up a shift today!