Nurses are an in-demand job and being a travel nurse is a combination of traveling and helping people. You may be looking for a job as a travel nurse with the intention of signing a per diem contract and you may find yourself asking “How many shifts do per diem nurses work?” or “What are their work schedules?”. Well, here are a few things you need to know about that:
What is Per Diem?
This is the daily allowance that is given to the employees to cover their travel-related business expenses. The meaning of the word itself is “for each day” and they are giving you a fixed amount of money to cover your living expenses like lodging, meals, and incident expenses.
THow does per diem work?
Per diem is used as a substitute for using an actual expense reimbursement method. Employers are required to file an expensive report and give it to you within 60 days using their per diem. This includes the date, time, and place, amount of expenses, and business proposal.
How does a per diem schedule work?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions when inquiring about being a per diem nurse. Like how many hours do per diem nurses work? Or How many days do PRN nurses work? Well, it depends.
Per diem nurses work depending on what is needed by the facility or organization. Some nurses may be called same-day for sick calls and some may be hired for seasonal staffing coverage. Holiday coverage
Do per diem nurses make more?
Nurses who work as per diem nurses typically earn higher hourly rates compared to their full-time counterparts since they are usually hired when they are needed the most. Hospitals and facilities pay differently in different states.
Pros of Working as a Per Diem Nurse
- Making new friends
Moving and traveling around often leads you to make new friends, may it be your fellow travel nurse, your co-workers, or maybe even your neighbors.
- Try before you buy
A lot of nurses use travel nursing as a way to scope up a city. If they are planning on moving far away from home, they could use travel nursing as a way to evaluate whether or not that particular city is right for them.
- Travel nurses can land jobs quickly
The more flexible you are, the faster you’ll be able to land a job, especially now that it is an in-demand job and a lot of hospitals and facilities need more nurses.
You have the power to take as much time as you want between assignments, and in a way, the short-term contracts are also a form of flexibility.
- Help under-served populations
Per diem nurses usually get assigned in places that they are needed the most. And with you constantly traveling, you get to help more people than usual.
Cons of Working as a Per Diem Nurse
- Loneliness and Homesickness
Since you are always traveling, you are going to be leaving your friends and family behind. It is possible to bring a family though, so if you could do that and if you want to do that, then that would be great.
- Moving a lot
As a travel nurse, you are essentially living on the road. If you are not a big fan of traveling and constantly packing, this con is definitely up there.
- Frequent job searches
The most that you could extend a travel nursing contract is 3 months. But most of the time, you will need to put in time and effort to conduct a job search and it could be quite stressful.
- Contract cancellations
These are one of the most under-reported cons. The hospital may decide that they no longer have a need for you and cancel your travel nursing contract. Lack of funding could also cause the hospital to cancel a contract.
- Handling multiple state licenses
Having multiple state licenses opens up opportunities for you to work in other different states. Getting multiple state licenses is expensive, and you need to satisfy the CEU requirements for each state but it is worth it in the end.
- Filing taxes
Since you are going to be traveling around, you are going to be working in multiple states each year so you will need to file multiple state returns.
- Managing medical coverages can be difficult
Since you are going to be changing your convergence when you change agencies, different medical plans are accepted by different doctors and they cover different medications. And since travel nursing companies only pay for the travelers when they are working, your benefits can be canceled if you take time off in between your assignments.
If you are looking for per diem nurse practitioner jobs, you could contact a recruiter and partner up with an agency to help you with everything you need and guide you through the whole process.