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PRN, aka Local Travel CNA Jobs, Might Be a Great Choice For You

Many nursing assistants wonder if they can earn high pay while working as CNAs. The answer is yes! Keep reading to learn more about local CNA jobs, self-contracted CNA jobs, how taxes work as a freelance CNA if the pros outweigh the cons for taxes, and how to become a freelance CNA.

Can I Find PRN Jobs As a CNA?

Certified nurse assistants (CNAs) are those hardworking, compassionate, trustworthy helping hands, and they are in high demand. You can work as a permanent, complete, or part-time staff member or as a self-contracted nursing assistant, picking up per diem (PRN) shifts, taking contracts as a travel CNA, or even as a local travel CNA.

That sounds contradictory, but you can have the advantages of travel nursing without traveling far away from home and family.

Self-Contracted PRN and Local Travel CNA Jobs

The Nursa article on Travel Nursing Jobs Close to Home points out and explains the differences between PRN nursing and local travel nursing jobs, including the advantages of each. However, some people do not realize that nursing assistants also have these same opportunities, and the job market for CNA jobs has only grown since the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Duration: PRN jobs are often called "gigs" because they are usually for only one or two shifts at a time. Local CNA jobs are closer to home, usually within the state where you have a life, sometimes even in the same city.
  • Pay: This year, the average hourly pay for a full-time CNA is $15.99, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. A local travel CNA or per diem CNA brings in double, approximately $36/hour.
  • Independence: Talking about freedom and independence from work commitments to find your balance in life, to give your children and family the time and attention they yearn after, nursing assistant gig jobs star in flexibility. You commit to a shift at a time. 

Another question you indeed have is about taxes. 

How Do You Handle Taxes if You Are Per Diem CNA?

1099 Taxes vs. W2 Taxes 

As a CNA with a full or part-time position, your employer files a Form W-2 for you and pays your income tax and the employee portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes with funds withheld from your paychecks. Employers provide you with a copy of your W-2s in January of each year. 

PRN nurses who pick up jobs on a staffing app, such as Nursa, are not employees but independent contractors and are responsible for filing and paying their taxes using Form 1099-NEC. If you are a CNA, licensed practical nurse (LPN), or registered nurse (RN) and have worked per diem shifts through Nursa, or some PRN staffing agency or app, you will receive a Form 1099-NEC from each CNA job app or agency. To learn more about self-employment taxes, read the IRS post here. Understand your taxes to make well-informed decisions, but it is complicated, and you should hire a tax expert (CPA) who will help you formulate your report correctly and on time, including deductions. The following is a list of items that may be considered for deductions, but remember: you will need receipts.

  • Work shoes or clothing 
  • Work equipment, such as a stethoscope, scissors, penlight, or oximeter
  • Licensing or certification exam and renewal fees
  • Continuing education classes or workshops
  • Insurance premiums, including health, professional liability of worker's compensation insurance
  • Transportation expenses 
  • Student loan interest

As contractors PRN CNAs are responsible for paying their income tax (state and local) and self-employment tax. The self-employment taxes cover Social Security and Medicare, a percentage rate from your net income of self-contractor work.

As a contractor, you pay 100% of your Social Security and Medicare taxes, whereas as an employee, you pay 50%, and the employer pays 50%. 

Does The Higher Pay Of Local Travel CNA Jobs Offset Higher Taxes?

 As a local travel or per diem CNA, your payment will be significantly higher than a staff nursing assistant, and you may receive housing and transportation, as stipulated in your work, depending on the location and if it's a short-term contract vs. per diem. Your taxes will also be higher, but the difference will be much less if you take advantage of the deductions. As a contractor, you do not have the benefits covered by permanent employment, including retirement and insurance (health, compensation, unemployment, and disability), paid training and vacations, and bonuses. You will have to pay for all these yourself. However, you can write off some of the insurance and training payments as tax-deductible expenses.

Can You Freelance as a CNA?

Yes, you can! Many hospitals and healthcare centers need qualified, caring, and temporary CNAs, registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and they are willing to pay the price. Your work is crucial to the patients and the hospitals, and you deserve a high pay rate. How can you find CNA jobs near you? Nursa's team will help you find local travel CNA or PRN CNA jobs near you. Download the user-friendly app, and decide which job is best for you.

Find PRN Jobs Here

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Booher, RN
Blog published on:
November 19, 2022

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