The Pros and Cons of Per Diem Nursing

Have you considered per diem registered nurse jobs as the next step in your nursing career?

As a registered nurse, you’re a highly appreciated member of society. You’re kind, caring, empathetic, hardworking, and smart. The uniform you wear says it all. But there are many ways you can wear it to suit your lifestyle too – and per diem nursing is one of them.

Do You Crave a Better Work/Life Balance?

Your job as a nurse probably means long, often unsociable hours. How you’d love to balance your life a little more in favor of the personal side as opposed to your professional side. Maybe you need more flexibility as a working parent. Perhaps you just want to meet up with your friends at the weekend.

While sifting through registered nurse jobs, you stumble across some per diem nursing positions. But what does this involve? Could it be the answer you’re looking for in your nursing career? You think about it, but you’re worried about the difference it will make to your finances, your hours, the benefits you might lose…

Fear not. Read this article and you’ll discover whether per diem nursing is right for you.

What will happen with my income?

The biggest pro for per diem nursing is the high pay you will receive for your often short-notice availability. According to ZIPRecruiter, as a per diem registered nurse in Kansas you could expect to earn between $54k and $113k per year.

As a per diem nurse you’ll also be eligible for a host of tax breaks, including:

  • Uniform expenses (cost and laundry)
  • Tech expenses related to work (phone, internet etc., as well as warranties)
  • Professional licensing costs
  • Job searching costs
  • Continued professional learning costs (i.e. books)

All these deductions will add up handsomely!

The downside of course is that as a per diem nurse you are never guaranteed your hours. You’re often the person who fills the gaps in an establishment’s rota. You’ll also not receive sick pay or paid time off.

Money management is all this comes down to. A sensible per diem nurse will manage money well. You must ask yourself if you need a guaranteed income. But with the higher potential earnings comes increased ability to manage money to accommodate the potential lack of hours – and the extra time you’ll have to yourself.

What about my benefits?

As mentioned already, working as a per diem nurse directly with a healthcare provider, you will not receive sick pay or paid time off.

However, some agencies, like QS Nurses, do offer assistance with the cost of insurances such as healthcare, dental and visual, and even liability insurance. Make sure you fully understand what is covered and what isn’t, so that you can protect yourself for any eventuality.

You’re exceptional at looking after others, but you must remember to look after your own health too. Per diem nursing can enhance a healthier and happier lifestyle with the flexibility over the hours you work. With an improved work/life balance, you shouldn’t need as many sick days. But you must always be prepared financially.

How much do I need to be available?

Your high salary as a per diem nurse compensates the likelihood of you being called in at short notice. That is a downside to this position.

However (and it’s a big ‘however’), one of the biggest perks of being a per diem nurse is that you can take control of your schedule and when you choose to work. You no longer must keep your fingers crossed that you’re not scheduled in for Christmas Day. Whilst you’ll be on champion wages if you do fill that void, you get to decide.

Nursing is a highly stressful role, and it’s so important that every nurse recovers with a healthy and happy personal life. Being able to take time off as and when you want to will give the freedom to enjoy your time off, when you want to.

Just remember not to make any big plans on the days you’ve said you’re available!

Where will I work?

Simply put, wherever you want! You can state where you’d like to apply for, and this can include locally.

Traveling far and wide is hugely appealing to many and widens your earning potential. Whether you’re young with itchy feet, or nearly retired and haven’t seen enough already. Or maybe you just want to go where the money is. You can submit for higher-paid locations.

On the other hand, you may want to take advantage of the benefits of per diem nursing while working locally (our specialty in Kansas). The choice is yours.

Oh, and did we mention the many new people you’ll meet when per diem nursing?

Anything else?

You won’t always get to be nursing in your preferred area of expertise. As a per diem nurse, you’ll often be filling in for positions that are sometimes the least liked role in an establishment’s full-time team.

But on the other side of the coin, this means you will also learn so much more. Your skills in nursing will develop faster, as you’re assigned different tasks. And who knows, this may just lead you to achieve career happiness in roles you never considered.

There’s a lot to be said for the advantages of working as a per diem nurse. If you’re searching for registered nurse jobs and want to know more about how we can help you find your perfect role as a per diem nurse, contact QS Nurses today. We’ll help you achieve your potential, in your professional and personal life.