September 14, 2023

Per Diem Nursing: A Gateway to Freedom

A per diem nurse wearing scrubs and a stethoscope stands smiling with arms crossed.

Healthcare workers face many challenges, including burnout caused by staff shortages, long shifts, excessive overtime, and unsafe patient-to-staff ratios. These demanding circumstances can affect their personal well-being and undermine patient care quality. Enter per diem nursing. By giving registered nurses and other healthcare professionals control over their schedules, per diem nursing promotes work-life balance and boosts commitment to patients.

This adaptable work approach connects personal and professional aspects, rekindling passion and preventing burnout. It also has a positive effect on patient care. Per diem nursing empowers healthcare workers to achieve balance, renew their dedication, and reach their full potential. This fosters a future where both patient well-being and the professionals’ well-being flourish.

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What is per diem nursing?

Per diem nursing involves providing healthcare services on an as-needed basis. Instead of having a fixed schedule, per diem nurses are called in to work when hospitals or medical facilities need extra help. This approach offers both healthcare institutions and nurses greater flexibility in managing work hours and staffing requirements.

Unlike conventional roles with rigid schedules, per diem nurses, also known as independent nurse contractors, step into the role of being their own bosses. This distinctive avenue empowers nurses to dictate their professional journey, choosing when and where they work.

Full-time vs. per diem nursing

Healthcare professionals have two main paths: full-time jobs or per diem roles. Full-time workers enjoy stable hours, benefits, and a consistent work environment with a well-established team. In contrast, per diem healthcare professionals enjoy flexibility, choosing their own schedules and assignments and gaining diverse experiences. While full-time jobs are reliable, per diem work provides flexibility for nurses whose lifestyles aren’t as predictable or structured. 

How does per diem work?

Hospitals and fluctuating patient needs

The demand on hospitals and healthcare facilities is fluid, with patient needs rising and receding. During high-demand periods, per diem nurses play a pivotal role by seamlessly filling the gaps. They provide the agile solution that ensures healthcare facilities have the necessary expertise precisely when they require it.

Claiming per diem nursing shifts

When healthcare facilities have staffing needs that cannot be fulfilled by their full-time employees, they often open up shifts to a pool of per diem nurses. This allows nurses to claim open shifts as they become available and set their own working schedules. With the help of technology like the CareRev app, claiming shifts can be as easy as finding and selecting shifts on your smartphone.

Benefits of per diem nursing for healthcare professionals

  • Design Your Path: Per diem nursing empowers you to take charge. Plan your schedule to fit your work and personal life, whether you work full-time, part-time, or as needed.
  • Discover New Experiences: Each assignment is a new opportunity. Every healthcare setting adds to your skills and knowledge, expanding your horizons.
  • Boost Your Earnings: Per diem often means better hourly rates. This higher rate of pay is especially valuable during peak periods and specialized tasks.
  • Guard Against Burnout: Customizing your schedule acts as a defense against burnout. This practice not only bolsters your resilience but also positively impacts the care you provide.

Benefits of per diem for healthcare facilities

  • Adaptation: Healthcare facilities require versatile staffing. Per diem nurses seamlessly step in, ensuring consistent care quality.
  • Efficiency: Per diem nurses provide cost-effective solutions, especially during patient volume fluctuations.
  • Expertise: Each per diem nurse contributes unique skills. Facilities access specialized talents without lengthy commitments.
  • Overtime Control: Per diem nurses reduce costly overtime, maintaining staff balance and budget efficiency.

Different opportunities for per diem nurses

Working as part of a hospital or healthcare facility pool

Full-time per diem nurses in hospitals balance the stability of one institution with the freedom to choose their shifts and set schedules. This route allows healthcare professionals to grow with a facility and the different teams within it.

Working with a healthcare staffing app

Healthcare staffing apps like the CareRev platform empower per diem nurses to work at multiple facilities rather than being tied to one place. This approach opens up a broader range of flexibility and experiences.

How to get started in per diem nursing

  • Researching Opportunities: Begin by exploring healthcare facilities and platforms that offer per diem nursing positions. Use your network to uncover potential options.
  • Preparing Your Compass: Your resume is your guide. Ensure it showcases your experience and skills, ready to navigate new opportunities.
  • Online Exploration: Dive into job portals with keywords like "per diem nursing jobs," "per diem RN jobs," and "per diem CNA jobs" to find potential openings.
  • Leveraging Expertise: Consider partnering with healthcare platforms like CareRev, specializing in per diem connections.
  • Clear Availability: When communicating with facilities, be transparent about your availability. Reliability and responsiveness create a positive rhythm.
  • Orientation and Integration: Embrace the facility's orientation process to set the stage for success in your new per diem role. Seamless integration ensures you become an integral part of their healthcare team.

Outlook: The future of per diem in healthcare staffing

Per diem nursing and on-demand healthcare staffing are poised to revolutionize the healthcare industry by offering unparalleled flexibility and efficiency. As the demand for healthcare services continues to fluctuate, this model ensures that facilities can promptly address staffing gaps without compromising patient care. It streamlines the recruitment process, allowing healthcare institutions to tap into a pool of skilled professionals when needed most. 

Moreover, per diem nursing empowers healthcare workers with adaptable work schedules, fostering a better work-life balance. This innovative approach aligns with the evolving nature of modern work and is set to become a cornerstone of the healthcare workforce, optimizing resource allocation and enhancing overall patient experiences.

Unleash your nursing potential

Per diem nursing offers a pathway to achieving work-life balance for diverse individuals. By allowing flexible scheduling, it empowers professionals to take control of their time and responsibilities. This means they can attend their kids' sports games, family events, or pursue personal interests without sacrificing their career. With the freedom to create their own schedules, per diem nurses can harmonize their work commitments with their personal lives, resulting in a more fulfilling and well-rounded lifestyle.

Interested in getting started as a per diem nurse?

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