Per diem questions

  1. For those of you who have changed your status from either full-time/part-time to per diem at your facility, has your base salary changed? Do you get call in? Shift differentials? First to float to other units? Required to work any holidays? Also, does your employer pay your taxes or do you? Any other insight/information you wish to share? Thanks a bunch.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   tattooednursie
    what is per deim?
  4. by   jemb
    I worked per diem for many, many years. The plus of working per diem is that you are able to set you own schedule -- you can work part time, full time, only occassionally, however you want to schedule it. Most facilities do have limited weekend and holiday requirements that you must meet, though. The pay is higher than full-time regularly scheduled, but you get no benefits. I always paid for my own insurance, retirement accounts, etc., and the higher rate of pay covered the extra expense. (It's more costly of you have dependents to cover, though.) Some people have insurance from other sources, so that is not an issue. I've always thought it smart to pay for your own benefits, though.

    Most facilities give shift differential for per diem, but most do not give anything extra for holidays. (Full-time frequently get time and a half.)

    The down side is that per diem is first to be called off if census is low, and first to float. It helps if you have a specialty that doesn't attract as many nurses, so you will be more in demand. You definitely have to be flexible, though.
  5. by   melissa24
    I agree with everything JEMB has said, except the fact that I was never the first to float. If I was on the schedule, I was on the same float list as the rest of my unit. If I was called in that day, I was told specifically which unit I was being called in to work, and I could always say no.

    Other than that, things were the same for me as they were for JEMB. My pay was about $4.00/hr. higher than my part-time hourly wage.
  6. by   Teshiee
    Per diem is great for me. I make more money and depending on our census we may float. Since we have literally no night shift staff I have been pulling full time hours. Not comitted to do so but because they are short I am working those hours. I really can't see any advantage of working full time. One employer stated free medical insurance for you and family but it is a HMO yeck better off buying my own.
  7. by   askater11
    My facilities the same as Jemb's except I'm not the first to float. We have a float list.

    Though I must say, I'm looking for a new job and one unit said I'd be first to float.
  8. by   Cherry Soda
    I am seriously considering per diem status. Being a full time staff nurse is just awful.

    Cherry
  9. by   mattsmom81
    I highly recommend PRN (or perdiem) work ...most importantly from a mental health standpoint!

    I too was miserable whenever I worked as fulltime staff and I learned quickly of the percs of going PRN and/or agency.

    So true that a PRN must be adaptable to floating as most facilities float PRN's first...but the good always outweighed the bad as a floater...at least for me. Most larger facilities now 'group' float areas (like ICU-ER- Recovery and Medsurg-Rehab-Postpartum) and must orient you fully before you are expected to go.

    It's not for everyone but those who love PRN generally refuse to go back fulltime if they don't need the benes.

    More money, more independence, more control over my life....can't beat it!
  10. by   SharonH, RN
    I haven't worked full-time in a hospital setting since 1992, and I do not ever plan to return to full-time work barring a major financial crisis and no other options. Basically I make from 3-4 dollars more an hour base pay, and yes the hospital does pay your taxes because you are still an employee. The requirement to work weekends and holidays varies from facility to facility and at my current place of employment, I am required to be available to work one major holiday, one minor holiday, and one weekend a month. Of course, I choose which one I want to work and what shift I want to work it.


    As for floating, per diems are the first to be called off(which is extremely rare) and the first to float. However, I have found that the floating is to my advantage because over the years I have become very skilled at working in different situations and I am equally comfortable working ortho-neuro, telemetry, general medical, and general surgical. I feel that has made me stronger as a nurse and I am also more marketable.


    I would like to point out that very occasionally, you will find that there are times when you are called off more often than others. This makes some people nervous because they think it is permanent. It never is, and you will see that for the most part you will find you have more work than you can handle.


    I have a lot of respect for those who work the bedside full-time because I simply cannot do it. Working per diem and having that bit of freedom to plan my own schedule is essential for my mental and physical health. I highly recommend it.
  11. by   MollyMo
    I went from traveler to pool(per diem,PRN). The new director got rid of all the travelers and I wasn't ready to move on. I make about $4 more than staff. All I'm required to work is 24 hours per month. They say that we have to work one major holiday, but my unit closes on the holidays, and I don't want to float. Pool is the first to float and the first to be called off for low census, but I haven't been called off. I've only floated twice in 4 months. The rule is that charge doesn't float, and more often than not when I work, I'm in charge. My biggest concern is that they will start to bring in full-time nurses, I will have to orient them to the unit, and then I will be out of a job. Of the five nurses that staff the night shift, 3 are pool--2 RN'S and 1 LPN. The 2 pool RN's are the preceptors. We've got the most experience. We were hired specifically for our unit. The others transferred over. I hope they keep that in mind.
  12. by   nell
    Shift differentials of ten percent (10%) will be paid for the evening shift and
    twenty percent (20%) will be paid for the night shift.

    A weekend differential of ten percent (10%) will be paid to an RN who works any hours
    on Saturday and/or Sunday

    Base salary is the same for all RNs on a given step

    All RNs get holiday pay which is double-time

    Taxes deducted by employer

    Per Diems cancelled first if no one has requested the shift off

    Per diems float according to the same rotation as regular staff


    Per Diem Differentials
    A. A per diem Level I RN will receive a twenty-five percent (25%) differential.
    B. A per diem Level II RN will receive a thirty percent (30%) differential.

    Per Diem RN

    A. A per diem RN is an RN who does not have a regularly assigned schedule. Each per diem position will be posted and filled based on shift (days, evenings, nights). Each per diem RN will be hired to a specific shift. If the per diem RN wishes to change shifts, the RN must wait until a per diem vacancy for the desired shift is posted. Although a per diem RN is hired to a specific shift, the RN may volunteer to work any shift.

    B. There are two (2) levels of per diem RNs. Each per diem RN will be required to work:

    1. Per Diem Level I (PD-I)

    Thirty-two (32) hours (including two [2] weekend shifts) during every four (4)-week schedule, except for approved waivers.

    2. Per Diem Level II (PD-II)

    Sixty-four (64) hours (including four [4] weekend shifts) during every four (4)-week schedule, except for approved waivers.

    3. Holiday Requirements

    Each per diem RN will be required to work a minimum of three (3) holidays each Per Diem Year, one (1) of which must include Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Year's holiday.

    4. Floating Requirements

    Each per diem RN must be competent to work on any unit to which the RN's home unit floats.

    C. Applicable Work Hours

    a. All hours worked (regardless of shift, unit or code [except On Call, Call In, Case Rate On Call and Case Rate Call In]) plus mandatory HC hours (regular days and holidays) will apply towards meeting the minimum work requirements.

    b. Per diem RNs will be included in the voluntary assignment of On Call/Call In and Case Rate On Call/Call In.

    c. If the per diem RN calls in sick, she/he will not receive credit towards fulfilling the work requirements.

    D. Waivers

    Each per diem RN will be entitled to two (2) 4-week scheduling periods each Per Diem Year in which the work requirement is waived. Requests for such a waiver must be made at least eight (8) weeks in advance of the applicable pay period(s) and unavailability will be determined by mutual agreement between the RN and the management representative. During prime times (as determined by the RN's home unit and included in the Patient Care Staffing Standards), the per diem RN is limited to a waiver equal to the limitations of time off for full-time/part-time RNs.

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