What are the Benefits of Working as a Per Diem Nurse?

Written by
Miranda Kay, RN
November 12, 2019

As an RN, have you ever explored the world of per diem nursing jobs? Do you know about the benefits of per diem nursing? Do you know how much per diem nurses make? Do you know how to get in touch with per diem staffing agencies?

As a leading provider of Boise, Idaho travel nurse jobs for per diem (PRN) RNs, we are very familiar with the realm of PRN nurse staffing. Join us as we open the door to this lucrative avenue that could advance your nursing career. First, we will answer the question:

"What is per diem nursing?"

Then, we will share seven benefits of working as a PRN nurse.

What is Per Diem Nursing?

Also known as PRN, per diem nursing describes when a nurse contracts their services to a hospital or healthcare facility, usually through a local nursing staffing agency. PRN registered nurses pick up work by the shift, or agree to work a number of different shifts to fulfill nurse staffing needs at a local facility.

In Latin, the word "per diem" translates to "by the day". As it applies to per diem nurses, it's also considered a correct term to mean "by the shift". Registered nurses who work per diem are offered either one shift or a series of shifts and they can either accept or decline any or all of the available shifts.

Now that you have the background knowledge, keep reading to discover seven major benefits of PRN nursing.

1. Schedule Flexibility

Do you like choosing when you want to work? Do you like being able to not work on the weekends if you don't want to? How about holidays, do you like taking them off to be with family or do you like working them to cash in on that sweet holiday pay?

One of the most beautiful things about PRN nursing is that you have complete control over your schedule. You decide when you want to work and when you don't want to work.

Many registered nurses who work per diem do so in order to take the days off that matter most, and not be committed to a solid schedule that is decided for them in advance at someone else's discretion with mandatory days such as weekends and holidays.

2. Lucrative Pay

In case you haven't heard, nurses who work per diem for a local staffing agency enjoy an hourly pay rate that is substantially higher than the average staff RN at the same facility.

When I quit my full-time nursing job to start picking up PRN nursing assignments and eventually travel nursing contracts, I literally gave myself more than a $10/hour raise!

3. Less Burnout

Nursing burnout is a real problem. How big of a problem is burnout in the nursing profession? It's probably more profound than you can even imagine. A 2017 Kronos survey titled, "Employee Engagement for Healthcare" asked 257 registered nurses questions related to burnout and nursing fatigue.

While the study did find that 93 percent of nurses are content with their chosen profession, still a whopping 98 percent of nurses stated that their job is mentally and physically demanding. Breaking the issue down further, 44 percent of those nurses surveyed said that their managers do not know how tired they are and 43 percent said that they hide how tired they are from their managers. Furthermore, 83 percent of those nurses agreed that hospitals today are losing good nurses at alarming rates as nurses search for other corporations and employers that can offer better working environments.

By working for a PRN nurse staffing agency, you have the ability to pick up shifts in several different hospitals in your area. When you are changing up the scene, even just working on different units within one hospital, you are less likely to experience burnout as a registered nurse.

4. Multiple Nursing Specialty Skills

Have you always wanted to work in a certain area of nursing, but your full-time staff RN position limited you to just one particular specialty? Once you are experienced and confident in your nursing skills, you can start to pick up per diem nursing shifts that are in different specialties. This gives you the opportunity to explore different types of nursing to see which ones you like the most. You also get to expand your skills checklists and resume.

5. Work and Play Balance

It's important that you have time off work where you can relax and enjoy life. Maybe you would like to take an art class at a local gallery or attend an upcoming concert. When you work as a per diem nurse, you can create your schedule around the activities you want to take part in so that you don't have to miss out on doing the things you love the most.

6. Tax-Free Benefits and Reimbursements

Tax breaks are very enticing benefits of per diem nursing. Some of the tax-deductible items for per diem RNs are:

  • Cost of uniforms, including laundry and dry cleaning expenses
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Phone, internet, computer-related expenses related to your job (which also includes warranties, apps, and software)
  • Professional licensing costs
  • Cost for continuing education (including books)
  • Costs related to your job searches
  • Trade literature costs

When tax season rolls around, you can easily see how these tax breaks and reimbursements add up to create a generous nursing salary.

7. Cultural Competence

Nurses who work PRN or travel positions experience many "first days on the job". It comes with this line of work and it is a big adjustment to make each time a nurse goes to a new facility. While you don't develop relationships as extensively with coworkers and patients, you will gain cultural competence.

In the healthcare setting, cultural competence references the ability of professionals to quickly adjust to and understand diverse groups of patients with different beliefs, values, and feelings. It also refers to your ability to navigate around a new setting and working with new people effectively.

Want to Cash in on these Per Diem Nursing Benefits?

Our travel nursing agency offers some of the best opportunities and competitive wages when it comes to nursing jobs in Boise, Idaho and the surrounding areas.

Are you interested in finding travel nursing jobs near you? Give us a call today at 208-378-1338 to discuss local per diem and national travel nursing jobs.

Miranda Kay, RN
Blog published on:
November 12, 2019

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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