What Is a Per Diem Nurse and How to Become One
Table of Contents
What Does a Per Diem Nurse Do?
A per diem nurse conducts all of the same tasks and has most of the same responsibilities as any other nurse. The difference is that per diem nurses do not work a set schedule and are not under contract to do so. They fill vacancies in the schedule as needed and desired. Per diem nurses provide all types of nursing care according to their license (RN, CNA, LPN, etc.), including administering medication, helping with patient needs and procedures, updating medical records, and communicating with physicians and other staff members.
How Do You Become a Per Diem Nurse?
The requirements to become a per diem nurse are the same as a regular nurse. Certified nursing assistants (CNA's), registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are required to complete various requirements for licensure and are limited to conducting certain kinds of procedures. Therefore, the requirements to become a per diem nurse depend on what kind of nursing degree that you pursue.
What Are Per Diem Nurse Career Paths?
There are various paths to becoming a per diem nurse, depending on which kind of nursing license you pursue. Some licenses require a certification program or associate degree in nursing, while other require a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. Regardless, you must meet whatever requirements are necessary to gain the skills, experience, and knowledge needed to pass the various licensing exams.
How Does a Per Diem Position Work?
The way a per diem position works varies a little from one job to the next. Generally, hospitals and care facilities rely on per diem nurses to fill holes in the schedule. In some institutions, per diem employees are called when needed. In others, there are many hours available each week, and they are doled out based on seniority or a first come first served basis; they may also just be assigned by a supervisor based on the availability reported by the nurse ahead of time. The hours usually vary from week to week. Many hospitals use agencies to find per diem nurses.
What Are the Benefits of a Per Diem Nurse Job?
There are several benefits to taking a per diem nurse job. As a per diem nurse, you may have a higher hourly pay rate because you are not provided benefits. This can be very advantageous if your spouse or partner provides benefits via their job. You also tend to have more flexibility in your schedule and say so over what hours you work. Many per diem nurses enjoy the variety that this type of work provides.