PRN Nurse

Nursing remains one of the most sought-after careers in the healthcare field. Becoming a nurse means embarking on a challenging yet rewarding career path that offers opportunities for personal development along the way. But not all nurses work regular shifts in one single hospital. Some are choosing PRN nursing.

What is a PRN Nurse?

The acronym PRN derives from the Latin phrase “pro re nata” which translates to “as the need arises.” PRN nurses do not generally work on set schedules. Instead, they fill staffing shortages in hospitals as they arise. In some ways, PRN nurses work more like freelancers do in other industries. 

It is not uncommon for PRN nurses to change their shifts or working hours on a weekly basis, depending on requirements. For many registered nurses, becoming a PRN nurse allows them to work more flexible hours with the potential to earn additional income. 

What do PRN Nurses do?

Whilst their schedules may vary widely, the tasks PRN nurses complete during their shifts are similar to what permanently employed nurses do. Nurses are responsible for large aspects of patient care, depending on the ward they are based in, their specific qualifications, and patient needs. 

One factor that separates PRN nurses from their permanent registered nurse colleagues is the ability to choose work flexibly. For some PRN nurses, that means choosing to work on a shift-by-shift basis. Others prefer to make weekly arrangements that offer more of an opportunity to plan ahead for several days.  

PRN nurses may also work based on an on-call schedule. They get paid to be available should the need arise. If the call comes and the hospital has an urgent need, they are expected to start working immediately. However, they may also have on-call days when there is simply not a high-enough patient intake to require their services. \

Types and Specialties of PRN Nurse Jobs

PRN nurses can fill any role take other registered nurses would fill. They work in emergency rooms, intensive care units, operating rooms, and other specializations. Whether a PRN is in demand or not depends often depends on the emergent needs of the hospitals in their area. 

Most PRNs are contracted through medical staffing agencies. This gives them access to nursing positions at several hospitals. It also helps hospitals respond to staff shortages quickly and independently of their underlying causes.

Benefits of PRN Positions

One of the biggest benefits of PRN nursing for both nurses and hospitals is the flexibility of the contracts. This flexibility gives nurses a chance to balance their personal and professional lives without having to give up their careers. By establishing relationships with staffing agencies, hospitals ensure that they have on-demand access to qualified staff. Quick, on-demand access can be critical in times of natural or man-made disasters when hospitals suddenly experience a higher-than-normal volume of patients. 

In addition to flexibility, nurses also benefit from increased pay on PRN and other temporary nursing contracts . Choosing flexible nursing careers can be highly rewarding both in the short and long term.