April 8, 2024

How Many Hours Do PRN Nurses Work

 A nurse in blue scrubs stands in a hospital lobby and checks her watch.

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, so do the roles and responsibilities of nurses. Among these roles is that of the PRN nurse. PRN, or "pro re nata," translates to "as needed" in Latin, reflecting the flexible nature of these positions. PRN nurses play a vital role in providing supplemental staffing to healthcare facilities, but just how many hours do they typically work? Let's explore this question in-depth to gain a better understanding of the unique working hours of PRN nurses.

Defining PRN nursing

Before delving into the hours worked by PRN nurses, it's essential to understand what PRN nursing entails. PRN nurses are employed on an as-needed basis, often to fill in for regular staff members during times of high patient volume, staff shortages, or special circumstances such as maternity leave or extended illness. Unlike full-time or part-time nurses who have set schedules, PRN nurses have the flexibility to choose when and where they work, based on their availability and the needs of the healthcare facility. Learn more in our PRN nursing blog

How many hours is a PRN job typically?

One of the defining characteristics of PRN nursing is its variability in hours. Some PRN nurses may work a few shifts per month to supplement their income or accommodate other commitments, while others may work more frequently to maintain a full-time workload.

How many hours can a PRN work a week?

A PRN could work 0 hours to over 40 hours in a single week. The number of hours worked by PRN nurses can vary widely depending on factors such as their availability, the demand for staffing at their facility, and their own preferences for work-life balance.

On-call PRN shifts versus scheduled PRN shifts

PRN nurses can work in different ways depending on a facility’s needs and the preferences of the nurse. Typically shifts are either scheduled or on-call. 

On-call PRN shifts usually involve the nurse being reachable by phone or pager and being prepared to report to work on short notice if called upon. Scheduled PRN shifts are shifts that are agreed upon between the facility and nurse ahead of time. These are typically more regular and predictable than on-call shifts.

Finding work as a PRN nurse

Are you interested in working as a PRN nurse? There are several ways you can find opportunities near you. Hospitals may post PRN opportunities directly on their websites, but another option is using an app like CareRev that is made specifically to connect nurses with facilities offering PRN and per diem shifts. 

Transitioning to PRN work can be a great option for nurses who want a more flexible schedule. The number of hours a PRN works per week can vary depending on the nurse’s preferences and the facility’s needs. Ultimately, PRN nursing creates flexibility in the lives of healthcare professionals and gives them more freedom in their careers.

Explore more in our blog about finding PRN jobs near you.

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