What is Per diem?
Per diem nursing has skyrocketed into prominence in recent years. For the uninitiated, “per diem” entails on-boarding employees for single assignments or a limited time, as opposed to a long-term full time contract. The practice rose in prominence thanks to COVID-19 and fluctuating staffing needs for big healthcare facilities. Accounting for as much as 30% of all total nursing hours in the United states, it is safe to say that per diem nurses form the foundation for the current state of the healthcare industry. As of 2020, the industry is valued at 7.6 billion USD. Between 2021 and 2028, there is projected to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 4.9 percent. This will skyrocket the market size to a staggering 11.1 billion USD.
For veterans in the healthcare industry who are used to systems and routine, entering the per diem work space may initially be an intimidating prospect. The advantages for employers are obvious, but more and more nurses are gravitating towards this model for different reasons. Per-diem nursing comes with a host of benefits and advantages that traditional employment can only hope to match. It is an exciting new frontier that has made healthcare more accessible and flexible than ever before. Some will see it as a useful supplement to their full time responsibilities, while others may prefer it outright. If you are still on the fence about per diem nursing, consider the following outrageous benefits:
Per diem employees in healthcare work when they want
Work life balance is an important part of professional living that can be easy to take for granted. Career mobility is fine and all, but time for yourself is important to rest, recuperate, and continue growing as a person. Despite the benefits of stability, achieving this work life balance with a full time schedule can be a challenge. It is not impossible, but you certainly have limited time to spend with either family and loved ones or pursue personal hobbies and side-hustles of your own. Per diem nursing returns control over your time to the employees, as nurses can set their own hours on their own terms. You can take up shifts while allowing free time between certain gaps. You no longer have to opt for unpaid overtime, for fear of losing your job. In fact, you can turn down shifts at your discretion, if you feel that it is best for you.
It lets you keep your license active
To maintain your nursing license, nurses have to log a minimum amount of clinical hours within a given year. For full time nurses who are between jobs, it can be difficult to stay active while you are hunting for new opportunities. Per diem employees in healthcare luckily have no such problem. You can take hours as needed, in order to fulfill the nursing licensure renewal requirements for your local State Board of Nursing. Even if you are a full time nurse who is not on schedule to meet the hour quota, for whatever reason, picking up a few per diem shifts with VitaWerks will help immensely in this regard.
Per diem nursing pays better
You may think that per diem employees in healthcare must sacrifice their bottom line for the flexibility provided. In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth. It has been found that per diem nurses earn as much as 30% more than their full time counterparts. The reasoning behind this is quite obvious: demand is simultaneously sky high and immediate. Hospitals are looking for high quality nursing professionals who will help fill critical vacancies as soon as possible, and they will pay a premium in order to accomplish this. States are paying millions of dollars to travel nurse agencies, in order to keep their healthcare facilities alive and running. To find the highest paying facilities in your area and get paid what you are worth, consider signing up with VitaWerks. Our technology-based staffing solutions will find you the highest rates with the best facilities in your area at the fraction of the time and cost.
Choose where you work
No two nursing facilities are alike. Between the systems in place, the specializations, and the workplace culture, your working environment will differ drastically depending on where you land. What works for someone else may not work for you, and that is completely natural. Full time employees who prize stability may eventually find dissatisfaction with their work, because they do not know how else to operate. Per diem nurses have the freedom to choose the facilities that they work with, on a per-shift basis. Per diem employees in healthcare can experience different work environments and facilities. In doing so, they eventually get a better understanding of what they are looking for in a workplace and the conditions that they work best in. Whether it is a huge facility in a busy urban city or a humbler facility in more rural states, any HCP will benefit from such a diverse range of looks.
Enjoy more career flexibility
This is related to the freedom to choose where you work. Many nurses want to advance their careers for higher earning opportunities and higher positions with greater responsibilities. The only problem is that they do not know exactly what speciality they want to focus and hone their skills on. As a result, they either end up stagnating career-wise or they find themselves working in a line-of–work they feel no passion towards. Per diem shifts will allow you to take on various positions from various facilities with wildly different specialties. One day you are working at a cardiac hospital, the next you are taking shifts with pediatricians. Working per diem allows you to gain a lot of experience with a diverse range of fields and expertises. You no longer have to commit to a career path, without knowing the alternatives or whether or not you will gel with the field in the long term. Not only can per diem employees in healthcare get an idea of what each speciality has to offer, they are also gaining important work experience that will reflect well on your portfolio.
Go out there!
The healthcare industry is currently in a state of flux. Though the pandemic has settled and the vaccine has mitigated things somewhat, cases can always spike up at any given time. Now more than ever, hospitals need to be flexible as they adapt to ever changing conditions. There will always be a place for fully employed nurses, but per diem nursing has risen as a powerful and tantalizing alternative for both facilities and HCPs alike. They provide nurses with more flexibility with regards to their time and career. Despite what you might initially think, they provide nurses more spending power than ever before, thanks to higher pay across the board. As the industry continues to grow and the benefits stack up, it is hard not to see why more and more nurses are moving towards temporary staffing solutions. While the initial spike will eventually die down, it is safe to say that per diem nursing has established itself as an industry staple, both in the short term and the bigger picture. No doubt becoming a per diem employee in healthcare can seem initially intimidating, for the uninitiated. Those who open their minds, however, will find professional opportunities and a liberating freedom that most full time staff could only dream of.