Technology and innovation have been instrumental in our daily lives and have made big changes in the service industries that we rely upon. Think about how food delivery, personal transportation, and even the hospitality industry have all changed. Do you have a friend or family member who works as a freelancer? Even dentists are picking up shifts via PRN staffing apps! The number of freelancers working gigs on the global freelancing platform UpWork has reached twelve million.
What you might not have considered, is that the nursing industry has been doing “gigs” or “freelance” for longer, and we have our own special name for it: per diem nursing, also known as PRN. CNAs, LPNs, and RNs have been picking up PRN nursing shifts in medical facilities and hospitals for ages. What has changed however, is the use of technology to connect clinicians to those PRN nursing shifts. Moreover, the ability to give them easier access, and to provide them that easier access, to more.
NursaTM has harnessed the capabilities of technology to make gig nursing, working as a PRN clinician full time, a reality. Our sleek smartphone application bridges the gap between medical professionals who want to work PRN and medical facilities of all types needing shift coverage. Some of our nurses work PRN alongside other full or part-time employment, others are retired but want to keep their licenses active and so pick up shifts occasionally. And yet more others are working PRN as their full-time employment and reaping the benefits.
Do you already have experience working PRN? Have you been thinking about letting go of your other employers to go PRN full time but have concerns? Here we’ve put together a list of tips and considerations for you to be prepared not only to go PRN full time but to do it successfully.
Organize Your Week
Sit down and decide what you want your life to look like on a week to week basis. When are the hours that you absolutely need to be free, and when are the hours that you are available to work. Block out those hours of freedom on your schedule so that you always have time to take care of yourself, family members, and other time commitments. Doing this will give you peace of mind so that when you’re searching for PRN shifts you know exactly when you can work, and when you cannot. This will help you avoid having to cancel commitments with friends or family because you forgot and have to work, or having to cancel on an employer whose staff is counting on you showing up.
Careful Not to Overcommit
This ties into organizing your week, but it needs to be stated clearly and further explored. Overcommitting will not only cause problems with your job performance, it will cause problems with your personal life, and your mental health. It’s one thing for you to every once in a while, work extra shifts in a week to bulk up your bank account, and it’s entirely another thing to live week to week on the run. We suggest applying for PRN shifts one at a time to avoid double booking, and keep in mind transportation time you would need to get from one facility to another if you’re considering double shifts.
Live on a Budget
It may be tempting as a PRN nurse to worry less about money, because after all, whenever you need money, you can just go search for “RN jobs near me, LPN jobs near me, or CNA jobs near me”. Right? Wrong. Avoid that tempting thought. As a PRN clinician, you’re much better off living on a budget and setting aside money for savings. Sometimes hospital and facility needs for PRN staff can ebb and flow, it would be extremely stressful to be in need of extra shifts one week and be unable to find any. Or perhaps worse, be able to find them but be unable to commit because of transportation or timing issues. This also ties into caution of overcommitting, getting organized, and looking out for your mental health.
Attitude is Important
Being full-time PRN will make a path for you that has you working in multiple different settings and situations. It may be very tempting from time to time to utter the words “At XYZ facility they do it like this…” Similarly, restrain yourself from complaining about other facilities or staff members. It may seem like the people doing the hiring for PRN shifts won’t hear about a comment or two, but in even large medical facilities the permanent employees will talk, and if their talk about you is that you complain or are a negative presence they will identify you and stop hiring you for shifts. As the PRN staffer, you will be an outsider which means that you will have the opportunity to bring positivity, energy, and assistance to a shift that would otherwise be struggling with workload and patient ratios. Be the positive kind of force that people will want to have working with them.
NursaTM Facilitates Opportunities for Career Variety
Working PRN shifts through NursaTM will allow you the opportunity to have diversity in your career. You could find shifts in a long-term care facility, the emergency department in a hospital, and later in labor and delivery. If you aren’t ready to specialize, or maybe you have specialized but want a little variety PRN can provide you with that diversity. NursaTM is connected to large healthcare systems, urban and rural hospitals, long term care facilities, skilled rehab facilities and more. They are all looking for PRN clinicians, and you could be the next.