How PRN Nursing Might Fit Your Lifestyle

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Set schedules. Days planned even a month off. Some of us do not know what we will need to do from one week to the next, let alone month to month.

For some of us, a full-time nursing job where you work 40 plus hours a week on set days and specific shifts doesn’t really fit with our lifestyles. That kind of job provides stability, guaranteed income, and benefits such as insurance and often some sort of retirement plan. On the other hand, it isn’t very flexible. If you have a lifestyle or home situation upon which your flexibility is required, what can you do?

Nursing is a popular profession among people who care about others, have an interest in the medical industry, and/or need to make a living wage with even little to no experience. That the last one really should apply to anyone, doesn’t lessen its poignancy.

PRN nursing has undergone a heavy makeover over the last decade. What is PRN nursing? It’s where a nurse chooses to hire out shift by shift to any facility that has a need as opposed to being a staff nurse with a set schedule. The PRN abbreviation comes from Latin “pro re nata”, but is also often referred to as per diem.

Formerly PRN nursing was often worked by staff nurses themselves. Some staff nurses have a set requirement of PRN shifts written into their employment conditions with hospitals and facilities. However, as technology advances have been made, and other industries move heavily towards freelancers or gig workers including writers, handymen, and perhaps most famously drivers (Uber and Lyft anyone?), the same is happening with PRN nursing.

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and registered nurses (RNs) will usually earn a much higher hourly wage than is the statistical average for their profession. For some, that is reason enough to work PRN, but it’s important to consider if working per diem is a good fit for your lifestyle. 

Lifestyles or Circumstances That Are Ideal for PRN Nursing

Now then, what lifestyle situation or circumstances make PRN nursing a happy choice for employment? Here are a few examples, but make note that this is by no means an exhaustive list. 

Nursing Students Love Picking Up CNA Jobs

 If your desire is to be a nurse, then just about any experienced nurse will tell you to get certified as a CNA. CNAs are a bedrock of the nursing industry and while not everyone is content with being a CNA forever, many, and I do mean many, nursing student hopefuls and actual nursing students are also CNAs. For one thing, the job demand for CNAs is incredibly high. Secondly, it’s important to have experience in the medical field. A career in nursing is not without its costs, nursing school and licensing are rather expensive so you want to be sure. You don’t want to go to the trouble to get in and find out that the medical setting isn’t as copacetic as you dreamed it’d be. Once you’re a CNA you should relatively easily find a full or part-time job at a facility nearby, but will it allow you the flexibility to study when you need to? Will it get tricky arranging your work schedule around your class schedule?

With NursaTM, you’ll have access to all the available CNA shifts at a variety of facilities near you within our smartphone app. PRN shifts will show in real-time and you can arrange to work shifts around your classes and study time.

RNs with Young Kids Love Per Diem Jobs 

If you’ve got young kids at home and struggle with organizing childcare or simply want to be home more with your kids, then working as a PRN RN instead of a full-time staff RN might be a good fit. If one of your kids gets sick, or daycare closes, or perhaps school closes and moves to virtual-only (hello COVID-19, we’re talking about you) as a PRN RN you will have greater flexibility to organize your work schedule around your private life, instead of scrambling to find a family member or friend to take over caregiving or virtual school supervision last minute.

Nurses Who are Experiencing Burnout 

Other nurses and clinicians of ours left full-time work due to burnout but were loath to give up entirely on the career that was such a large investment of their time, energy, and money. These RNs find comfort in being able to work at different facilities and change up their work setting. This way they are still a part of the industry but on their own terms. 

LPNs Can Pick Up PRN Jobs to Specialize 

Might you be interested in a specialization? LPNs and RNs can specialize, and when they do it increases not only their knowledge and skills, but it typically increases their pay potential as well. One of the barriers to specializing however can seem daunting. To sit for most specialization exams a nurse must already have a certain number of applicable work experience hours.

PRN nursing offers the opportunity to mine the available PRN shifts near you for the ones that can help you sit for that specialization exam. You don’t have to wait for a vacancy in your desired unit and then go through the hiring process hoping there isn’t anyone else who already has more experience than you. Pick up those applicable PRN shifts all around you.

In any of these scenarios, it’s rather easy to see how working PRN would be a good fit, but you should also investigate your health insurance situation. Nurses who work PRN won’t be offered health insurance through any facility because they’re working on a shift by shift basis. 

Why PRN Nursing with NursaTM

We are NursaTM and we created a space for certified nursing assistants (CNAs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and registered nurses (RNs) to hire themselves out one shift at a time to any facility in need in the area. Our smartphone application makes the entire process from searching to applying and landing PRN shifts a smooth and simple matter to be done on the phone. Download our app and get started today!

Written by Miranda Booher, RN

Miranda is a 13-year registered nurse with a healthy background in travel nursing and healthcare marketing. She brings an interesting combination of stellar copywriting skills and first-hand nursing experience to the table. Miranda understands the industry and has an impeccable ability to write about it. And speaking of travel - Miranda currently lives in Uruguay, though she maintains an active Registered Nurse license in the state of Ohio and stays current on the latest healthcare news through her writing. When she is not creating killer copy, or serving others through her work as a nurse, you can find her hanging out on the beach with her devoted husband, three beautiful kids, and their guardian Shepsky, Ashes.

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