What exactly does "per diem" mean?

  1. 0 I'm thinking of working for an agency to supplement our family income. I have never worked agency before, so I have some questions:

    What does per diem mean? Does that mean they call me that day and offer a position, or does it just mean that I am not signing a contract to work specific days?

    This is how I envision my agency experience working: pleas correct me or give me some input!

    I submit to my recruiter my availability for a specific time period, and how many shifts I am interested in working. My recruiter then schedules me. I know there are times when you *do* get a phone call that day saying they need someone to come in; but I am also assuming that there are times when you know several days in advance that you are in fact scheduled.

    What sort of expectations should I have of an agency? Is the nurse responsible for calling to see if she has been canceled, or is the agency responsible for calling you? What sort of "cancellation pay" is out there, and what time parameters does it fall under? Does travel typically get covered? It is common to establish yourself at a couple of different facilities and then to usually work only those facilities?

    Any other thoughts are appreciated!

    Lori
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  3. Visit  ljds profile page

    About ljds

    Joined Jun '05; Posts: 175; Likes: 18.

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    17 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  NephroBSN profile page
    0
    Quote from ljds
    I'm thinking of working for an agency to supplement our family income. I have never worked agency before, so I have some questions:

    What does per diem mean? Does that mean they call me that day and offer a position, or does it just mean that I am not signing a contract to work specific days?

    This is how I envision my agency experience working: pleas correct me or give me some input!

    I submit to my recruiter my availability for a specific time period, and how many shifts I am interested in working. My recruiter then schedules me. I know there are times when you *do* get a phone call that day saying they need someone to come in; but I am also assuming that there are times when you know several days in advance that you are in fact scheduled.

    What sort of expectations should I have of an agency? Is the nurse responsible for calling to see if she has been canceled, or is the agency responsible for calling you? What sort of "cancellation pay" is out there, and what time parameters does it fall under? Does travel typically get covered? It is common to establish yourself at a couple of different facilities and then to usually work only those facilities?

    Any other thoughts are appreciated!

    Lori
    Usually you can go to an agency and tell them what days you are available to work. They will plug you where they have needs. You'll probably be the first nurse called off though.

    When I did agency I never counted my money until I did the shift.

    As to the other questions, if I were you, I'd ask the agency. I'm sure some do things differently from others.

    You might also ask the hospital of LTC facility or where ever you are interested if you can work directly for them. Don't use an agency. You probably will make more money..

    Good luck
  5. Visit  nightingale profile page
    0
    Quote from NephroBSN
    You might also ask the hospital of LTC facility or where ever you are interested if you can work directly for them. Don't use an agency. You probably will make more money..

    Good luck

    As an Agency Nurse, I usually make 25% or more then their regular staff Nurses. It depends on your Agendcy and area, some have rediculous call offs (2 hours in advance in Denver) and some do not; my Agency gets a formed signed by the facility that guarantees the shift within 24 hours.Call offs, in my current area, are uncommon.

    As an Agency Nurse, I never haveto go to "their" meetings. When I work PRN, I usually do NOT work unless I want to (okay, so I am known to do "favors" once in a while), and when I have had "enough" of one facility I know... know I do not have to go back and can pick up shifts elsewhere and there is no minimum requirement to work there again.

    Can you tell I prefer Agency Nursing? You betcha!
  6. Visit  lgnurse20 profile page
    0
    I work per diem and this is what I do. I have 3 agencies (even if you only want to work a little more than 1 is a good idea). I call and tell them the facilities I want to work and my available times. a few things happen from there...
    1) I get a call saying I am confirmed for the shift
    2) They offer other hospitals that have needs
    3) They can write me down to call in the morning if something comes up. They can only do this if you give them permission.

    As far as pay it depends on the facility. Many pay double what I staff nurse makes.

    I think the general rule of thumb for cancellations is 2 hours before the shift starts. If they do this the facilities hands are clean. If they do not call you off within 2 hours they have to pay you for 2 hours. I have actually come upon a facilities that cancel at 5am for 7am shift and then call a few hours later to see if you can still work.

    You will find the facilities you like and what ones you can almost guaratee won't cancel you. I have one facility that cancels almost every shift scheduled and another that has never cancelled.

    There are also contracts usually available which are a good option if you want to give up some flexibility, but know for sure you won't get cancelled.

    Good luck....In my opinion working agency is the best!!!!!!!
  7. Visit  lgnurse20 profile page
    0
    I meant to say also that most of the time it is the agencies job to call you when you are cancelled. The type of phone call you can expect to recieve is....This is so and so from agency A this hospital has cancelled you, but I have needs at this hospital.
  8. Visit  phxnewgrad profile page
    0
    From what i know the per diem is your employment type. It is a day by day work schedule. I thought it was how you got paid
  9. Visit  tntrn profile page
    0
    i worked agency for some time and really loved it. pay is almost always better than being on staff, but as mentioned before you will be cancelled first in low census situations.

    i now work per diem. i am on staff at a hospital, kind of like an in-house agency. i am first to go on low-census days, have no vacation or sick leave bennies, but i make my own schedule, can be available only when i want to be. my only obligation is to be available one weekend a month, and most times regular staff fills those needs. on low census days, i am not required to take call. my paycheck is either really nice or non-existent, but it works for me.
  10. Visit  lgnurse20 profile page
    0
    I thought about doing registry at a hospital,but I really like having the option of going to another hospital if census is low.
  11. Visit  tntrn profile page
    0
    that's the beauty of being per diem where i work. if i am put on lowcensus, i have the option of being called off (my choice) and if ialso took agency assignments, i could call them to see if they had work. that is exactly why we fight every negotiating time to keep that benefit for all rn's.
  12. Visit  sea to sky profile page
    0
    Being a per diem nurse-with such a huge shortage in nursing I wonder why anyone would want to take on a position other than per diem. You have so much flexibility and so many options.. The pay is higher, you can work overtime, but take vacations without answering to anyone. In my opinion I wouldn't want anything other than per diem.
  13. Visit  newlvngrad profile page
    0
    what if you want to work per diem but dont want to work i hospitals or nursing homes? do you have any other options? I would love to work per diem so I can make my own schedule but I dont want to work in a hospital or nursing home. anything left?
  14. Visit  Hex profile page
    0
    Quote from tntrn
    my paycheck is either really nice or non-existent, but it works for me.
    I'm seriously considering going per diem at the hospital where I work f/t. But that "non-existent check" comment scared me a little bit. Actually, it scared the crap out of me.

    Did you mean that sometimes you get paid less than usual or that you actually get zero for an entire pay period due to being cancelled or what have you? (That would definitely not work for me.)

    Excuse my ignorance, I'm new to the whole per diem thing.
  15. Visit  crb613 profile page
    1
    Quote from Hex
    I'm seriously considering going per diem at the hospital where I work f/t. But that "non-existent check" comment scared me a little bit. Actually, it scared the crap out of me.

    Did you mean that sometimes you get paid less than usual or that you actually get zero for an entire pay period due to being canceled or what have you? (That would definitely not work for me.)

    Excuse my ignorance, I'm new to the whole per diem thing.
    I work PRN & do not have any problem working.....my phone rings off the hook! I have only been PRN for 9 months.....have never gone without a check if I wanted to work. You might go PRN for a couple of places if you are worried about that. I think it also depends on how experienced you are & how many different areas you can or want to work in. I only do ER now & have all the shifts I want & then some....I am usually in OT.
    Hex likes this.


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