Absolutely. Here’s Why.
Per diem nurses have for years been essential in America’s healthcare system. They strengthen workforces in an ever-fluctuating battle between supply and demand.
The traumatic effects of 2020 and its pandemic force certainly put managing healthcare staffing levels in the most precarious juggling position. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reported that even in the simmering stages of the pandemic (November 2020), 22% of all American hospitals were facing staffing shortages.
With staffing shortages comes many consequential negative effects:
- Unintended decrease in standards of care
- Pressured, stressed, and overworked staff
- Absenteeism as employees become overworked, burned out, and mentally/physically exhausted
- Cost increase for paid overtime of permanent staff to fill voids
There isn’t much good news for an either overstretched healthcare facility, or overstaffed one. However, there is a solution.
In this article, we identify the different types of nursing cover to protect your workforce and how agency per diem nursing will benefit you most.
Types of Nursing Cover
Here are three different types of nursing cover, and a little about how their contracts work and how facilities benefit from them for different requirements.
1. Per Diem
Per diem is Latin for ‘per day’. Also sometimes referred to as ‘PRN’ – ‘pro re nata’, meaning ‘as needed’ – and per diem nursing availability is exactly that.
Per diem nurses are available as quick stop gaps either immediately (to cover sick staff, for example) or in advance, when a staff shortage is predicted, such as vacation or FMLA.
The shifts are not guaranteed for per diem nurses which means you can cancel them if circumstances change.
2. Travel Nurse
Nurses on these contracts fulfill staffing gaps for a longer term, with guaranteed hours. Typically, these are scheduled from 13 weeks or three months, or on a weekly basis of 36-40 hours per week.
Travel nurses become temporarily scheduled into the roster for the set period, and are useful in situations such as FMLA cover or vaccination rollouts, for example.
Travel nurses are usually recruited on a basis of residing at least 50 miles away from the setting (to prevent permanent staff being lost to this role).
3. Seasonal Nursing
This provides contracts of around three to six months, when you know an increase in demand for healthcare services is forecast. For example, seasonal spikes.
The benefit to you is that expected demand increases can be easily met, while you are not obliged to provide employment benefits (though some offer a scaled-back version).
How to Gain the Benefits of Per Diem Without the Risk
As you can appreciate, managing a per diem pool has many risks – as well as increasing the amount of paperwork and administration each unit and HR department must do. However, you can access the benefits of per diem nurses without the disadvantages of running your own pool.
Using a staffing agency cuts out the management process for per diem nurses. You have fewer employee compliance issues, the agency has a large per diem bank on which to draw, and your operation does not have to administer the per diem hiring, screening, payments, etc. The benefits this offers include:
· Quick Staffing Recovery
Our per diem nurses have the experience and expertise you need – and we have many of them. When duty calls, a per diem nurse can fill the gap on short notice. Our capability will help you maintain adjust staffing levels fast and seamlessly, without the need for you to find, vet, or check.
· Cost Savings
Per diem nurses are not on permanent contracts and therefore you will not have the expense of employee benefits to cover. Because they are supplied by our agency, we manage all the paperwork and handle employee compliance issues. Plus, there are tax benefits, too – you can write off agency usage.
· A Supported and Healthy Workforce
Your permanent staff won’t feel overwhelmed with pressure from a lack of support and reduced team morale. Our support to your facility is available 24/7. With this level of support, your permanent staff are less likely to need or want time off because of burnout.
Get in touch and book your per diem nurse exactly when you need him or her.
Temp to Perm
When using our staff, we often find that a client falls in love with them. So much so that they wish to make them a permanent team member. You have had the chance to discover their ability, their passion, and their commitment.
If you fall in love with one of our team members, we will work with you to achieve your objectives of hiring someone full time.
Today, as every healthcare facility in America battles on through the grueling effects of a pandemic on patients and staff, the most effective solution is usually per diem nursing. But do you really have the time and manpower to manage your own per diem pool?
Hiring per diem nurses through QS Nurses is a fool-proof method to maximize your delivery of care and service to your patients, no matter the circumstance, while also keeping costs at a healthy and justifiable level.
Do you have staff shortages that need to be filled? Contact at QS Nurses for seamless solutions for your staffing needs.