What is a Per-Diem Nurse?
The term “per diem” comes from Latin and translated literally, means “by the day”. Within the medical field, per diem staffing agencies interpret these terms a little more widely. Per diem nurses may work in one position for a day, a few days, or even a week.
This type of nursing is one of the most flexible nursing jobs available. Whilst other travel nursing or temporary nursing positions [please link to the previous posts] generally entail 13-week contracts, per diem nurses enjoy far more flexibility.
What do Per-Diem Nurses Do?
Per-diem nurses fill staffing gaps in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. These are often unexpected gaps, for example, when a staff nurse becomes sick or has to take an unplanned leave of absence. These last-minute engagements can be paid at a premium because they require a high degree of flexibility from per-diem nurses.
In some cases, hospitals use per-diem nurses to fill planned needs. That is the case when staff goes on vacation or to cover for others during the holiday season. No matter where they fill in, per-diem nurses do exactly the same jobs that registered staff nurses would do.
Types and Specialties of Per-Diem Nurse Jobs
Per-diem agencies are looking for nurses across all nursing specialties. Some of the most sought-after temporary nurses include:
- Intensive care and progressive care units (ICU and PCU)
- Surgery and Telemetry or a combination of both
- Emergency room nursing
- Operating room care
As a registered nurse not yet qualified for one of these specialties, per-diem nursing is an excellent way of trying something new. Spending a few days on a new ward can help you decide whether this specialty is one that you want to commit to.
Benefits of Per-Diem Positions
For nurses who enjoy a flexible lifestyle and do not mind being called for jobs spontaneously and at the last minute, per-diem nursing is ideal.
Working with the right per diem agency will help you create your perfect work-life balance. Full-time nurses work at a pace that is sometimes relentless. Per-diem nursing allows you to take a step back and slow down whilst still being able to earn a living.
Being exposed to different specialties, hospitals, and healthcare providers can also help further your career as you are gaining more experience in different environments. If you enjoy the challenge of adapting to a new environment, per-diem nursing might be the perfect choice for you.
Per-diem nurses are in high demand because of their ability to adapt to new circumstances and fit into new teams. These are valuable skills that can help advance your career in any field of nursing.