Per diem nurses are hired to cover the gap of regular staff nurses on different floors and specialties. Facilities can offer nursing assignments to support shortages by the hour, day, or week. Many nurses enjoy specific benefits of a per diem contract, which includes higher per hour rates and a flexible schedule of their choosing. With the increase in demand for nursing professionals, we also have seen a significant spike in favorability for full-time registered nurses trying per diem for a short while to prevent career burnout. If you consider per diem nursing for your next assignment or next career move altogether, use this article as a resource.
Things to consider when pursuing a per diem contract
SwipeFox wants you to get matched to the best possible assignment. Before you swipe right, consider the following points to avoid work-related stress.
Before swiping right on a per diem nurse assignment, the first thing that you should consider is income. You should know how much you will get out of your shift. Usually, per diem jobs offer higher than average hourly rates (salaries) because of the urgency and last-minute calls. But still, make sure this rate fulfils your financial requirements and other needs. The highest pay doesn’t necessarily mean the best fit for you. Ensure that if you sacrifice time or travel to take the assignment, the reward is enough to justify it. Also, make sure you understand how the facility will compensate. If you take day-by-day shifts, will they pay by the next day?
Flexibility is another aspect of a per diem contract that is highly favorable. You can prefer a job that suits your lifestyle and availability. However, be cautious if the working hours are not determined yet as you do not want to find out at the last minute that you are not needed. You may choose familiar working shifts, days, or weeks that will not pressure you. It could be helpful for you to pick extra per diem shifts in your comfort.
If you want to make the most of your time, you should also consider the assignment’s location, place, and environment.
- Is it a safe place with a good environment?
- Is it easily accessible from your home?
- Can you get more jobs around that location?
- Can your family relocate with you if you choose?
- Is there a location that can give you exposure and new skills?
- Is there an area you want to try out temporarily?
4. Multiple Employers
Per diem nursing gives you the freedom to work for multiple employers, facilities, and facility types. You may get the opportunity to be exposed to new hospitals, clinics, and institutes. You can learn from experienced facilities and meet new people. It will enhance your experience and stimulate your mind to get the most out of a working environment. You can also have the option to work with different Calibri (Body) employers and check their terms and conditions whether it suits you or not before taking a long-term assignment. You can work in many regions and sites as an RN to expand your skills and confidence.
As the internal politics of a facility will remain foreign to you, for the most part, you can concentrate on your work without any distractions. If you do not find an employer suitable for you, you can swipe left on the future offers from them. So, it is always a considerable clause to try before you commit to long-term assignments.
5. Valuable Experience
One of the best parts of taking a per diem nursing assignment is its variety. You may explore a per diem assignment in an unfamiliar unit, but you seize this as a learning opportunity. You can work in more than one place and more than one facility in multiple healthcare settings. In this way, you can learn and expand your nursing skills by working with different specialties. You can also work with acute care units and specialty floors. If you are an ER nurse, you can pick a shift in ICU or medical-surgical nursing to get additional knowledge and experience for the rapid growth of your career. Add those experiences to your resume by working and learning new technologies and techniques. You can assign a nursing job that seems more promising to valuable experience without committing a permanent assignment. You can also consider a job that offers floating on multiple units. It is a better opportunity to polish your skills and boost your learning and career growth.
How to Avoid Burnout?
Though per diem nursing offers you a flexible schedule and ideal work-life balance, you may have burnout. Here are a few ways to avoid burnout while doing a per diem job:
- Try to pick up shifts every other week
- Choose a good working environment
- Schedule your working hours with breathing room in between
- Set realistic goals and be consistent
- Try to get good rest and sleep
- Practice self-care regimes
- Spend time with your friends and family
- Looking for more? Check out our SwipeFox Top 10 Ways to Reduce Burnout article.