Per Diem Nursing

Per diem nursing is the adventurer’s answer to a steady job in the nursing field. Working temporary shifts for a specialized placement agency or hospital staffing pools, a per diem nurse fills in where needed instead of having a permanent job at a specific hospital. Per diem nursing allows a nurse to make his or her own schedule and work the hours and days that he or she wants to, without getting involved in hospital politics.

Whether filling in for sick staff members, being on-call for a week at a time or covering for someone who is on maternity leave or vacation, per diem nurses are constantly on the move. They can work short-term assignments both part-time and full-time with varying shifts. Often per diem nursing is perfect for new mothers or anyone who is close to retiring who doesn’t want to work full-time but still needs the occasional hours. Other nurses use per diem assignments to get the feel of a hospital before taking a permanent job anywhere.

The possible down side of per diem nursing is being a temporary part of the staff in every place you work. Sometimes a per diem nurse will work in five hospitals in one week, which requires a quick adjustment to new doctors, colleagues, politics, and policies. However, per diem nurses are compensated for being flexible and are paid between $30 and $40 an hour, with weekend, late-night and weekends in intensive care or in a metropolitan area paying up to $50 an hour.

If working for an agency, per diem nurses who carry a minimum number of shifts qualify for health insurance, retirement plans, shift differentials and other bonuses. If part of a pool of per diem nurses with a hospital system, there is more stability and a constant, familiar environment, but shifts don’t pay as much and are less flexible. Another related field is travel nursing.

Want to become involved in per diem nursing? You will need an advanced nursing degree, RN to BSN degree, or LPN to BSN degree. Or you can learn more about these programs from the University of Phoenix:
» Bachelor of Science in Nursing
» Master of Science in Nursing

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