PRN Jobs Are a Great Way to Advance Your Nursing Career

Written by
Miranda Kay, RN
August 18, 2021

Nurses often pick up PRN jobs as they transition to a new role. Sometimes a nurse considers a job at a certain facility, so they pick up a shift or two to check it out first. Other times, a nurse who is interested in travel nursing picks up some PRN jobs first to see how they like jumping into various facilities and working on the fly. Another common scenario is a nurse who wants more freedom and flexibility in their schedule might pick up some PRN shifts first to see if they can find enough work (they will) and how they like going to various facilities to work before they quit a current position to go per diem full-time. 

Registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) can use an easy PRN medical staffing app to find these jobs nearby. Keep reading to learn more about working per diem and three ways PRN jobs can help advance your nursing career.

What are PRN Nursing Jobs?

Per diem and PRN are interchangeable abbreviations for the Latin term “pro re nata” which translates to “as necessary”. Therefore, LPNs and RNs who work PRN jobs are those who pick up a shift or a series of shifts at a time at a hospital or healthcare facility nearby.

1. Using PRN Jobs to Try Out a Specialty or Facility

Is there a hospital or healthcare facility you’ve always wondered what it would be like to work at? Ever dream of working in the emergency department (ED) or another area of care, but are not sure how you would like it? Pick up PRN nursing jobs in a new location or even a new area of care (as long as it's closely related to your experience and you feel confident to do so). A perfect example of this is when a medical/surgical nurse who has telemetry certification but never worked on a tele unit picks up, a PRN job in TELE. Do not go into an area, such as intensive care, if you are not familiar enough with the work to know that you have the skill set to provide safe patient care.

Settings influence the type of work experience and skill a nurse gains. Hospitals often feel fast-paced and are great environments for learning. There are long-term care facilities that offer comfortable work environments for many nurses, such as LPNs, as the demand is always high and work is similar from setting to setting. PRN jobs offer opportunities to work in new settings or fields without long-term commitments.

2. PRN Jobs Bridge Can Launch a Travel Nursing Career

Travel nursing is an exciting career path. Many nurses, even those who never work a travel nursing job in their lives, are still interested in the travel nursing field. However, signing onto a 13-week standard travel nursing contract is a big commitment and one that requires careful planning and consideration. Therefore, nurses, especially RNs, who are curious about taking travel assignments might start by working PRN first to get their feet wet. 

“I spent four years in a staff RN position where I was miserable with a manager who gave me a hard time from the day I walked in the door. I always wanted to be a travel nurse and intended to just work just two years to get a solid base of experience before I took a travel assignment. However, the treatment from an abusive workplace made me feel intimidated by my dream. I decided to try PRN jobs from a local agency to see how I would like travel nursing. My confidence as a nurse was achieved after I did a few jobs and realized that I could walk into any facility and work diligently and received nothing but praise from other managers. I just had to get oriented to where things were located. I wish I would have started PRN sooner. Also, I worked PRN jobs before traveling full-time, but I went back to PRN after a few travel assignments due to the convenience and flexibility.” - Alice Kay 

3. Per Diem Nursing Jobs Lead To Full-Time Careers

Leaving a job and deciding to work as a nurse only on a PRN, or “as needed” basis is a big decision. However, the constraints of committing to a full-time job or a schedule a month out can be too much for a variety of reasons:

  • The nurse is also balancing a family life or has young children.
  • The nurse has a very active schedule or social life.
  • The nurse doesn’t want to work on certain days.
  • The nurse has a schedule that is often subject to change.
  • The nurse doesn’t want to work holidays.
  • The nurse wants to pick up holidays and days with extra pay incentives.
  • The nurse wants to earn the highest possible salary.

A common phenomenon that happens is that a nurse who picked up a few PRN jobs ends up turning it into a full-time career. In fact, LPNs and RNs all across the nation are often shocked when they realize how many per diem jobs are available within a short drive from their homes.

How to Find Per Diem Jobs for RNs and LPNs

One of the biggest challenges or mental obstacles standing in the way of working per diem and not is the lack of knowledge on how to find these jobs. What’s the easiest way? Search for and pick up nursing shifts at local healthcare facilities and hospitals by using a nurse staffing app, such as NursaTM

Download our PRN nurse app today and verify your license. Once you’ve uploaded the minimal verifications needed to ensure you are a licensed and practicing nurse, you can pick up shifts from the palm of your hand. Plus, you can communicate with the hiring manager of a facility via the chat interface on NursaTM. It makes staffing by the shift fast, simple, and secure. Pick up high-paying per diem jobs with our medical staffing app today.

Check out the most popular ways to stay hydrated on the job in our post about the best water bottles for nurses.

Miranda Kay, RN
Blog published on:
August 18, 2021

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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