Thinking of switching to per diem status...advice please - page 2

Hello I work FT on a busy Peds unit. It's a toxic work environment for many reasons with a high turnover rate. I am stressed and burnt out to the max. The heavy patient load, constant... Read More

  1. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from RNperdiem
    How about even working a 4 or 8 hour shift? Once a week? Per diem allows you to do that. Ever since I went to per diem status, working only 8 to 12 hours a week, I have more of the joy of nursing minus many of the problems. No more being in charge, no office politics, pick your own schedule and work as little or as much as you want.
    I totally agree! I work the hours I want on the days I want. If I want to take some time off, I do - If I want to work more for a while, I do. Changing to per diem was the best thing I have done for myself. I have worked agency and enjoyed that as well, but the NICUs around here have decided not to use agency nurses anymore, so I do per diem.

    I find I have more flexibility in scheduling as a per diem as well - when we used agency nurses, they HAD to work 12-hour shifts. I enjoy the flexibility of being able to fill-in for the 4 or 8 hour shifts (the regular staff like it too). There are advantages and disadvantages, but for me, I have found the advantages to far outweigh the disadvantages.
  2. by   angel337
    if money is not an issue for you and you don't depend on a full time paycheck with benefits, per diem is perfect. i know some nurses who went per diem and were canceled every time a full time staff member wanted extra hours. so just be careful where that is concerned. good luck with everything.
  3. by   michellebell
    i understand that with per diem status a nurse would not get any benefits. what about retirement?
  4. by   NurseEcho
    Wow, Agent99, I could have written your post a little under a year ago. I was in a similarly toxic job, was sick all the time, and went per diem to give myself a breather and figure things out. Bless my hubby for bearing with the income cut and covering our health benefits.

    When I cut my hours and was able to think straight, I started looking for other options and wound up taking a job in a doctor's office. It saved my health. It's not stress-free, and it was a small (but smaller than I thought) pay cut.

    It was well worth it, though -- I work 8-5, no weekends/nights/holidays/call. I get a lunch break every day. No one bothers me on my days off. I feel like a normal person. And I *really* enjoy getting to know patients. I have the time to do more teaching and preventative care. I'm in an adult cardiology practice, but I would imagine there is plenty of demand in peds since so much of that is OP and clinic based.

    Just something to think about! Please, though, take care of yourself. You are fortunate that you have a spouse who is supportive and can pick up the slack for now. Let us know how it works out for you.
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    It depends. Do you need the benefits full time work provide? If not, then by all means, do it. I work perdiem and never have looked back nor regretted it. But then my dh, being military, has always had benefits for us to rely on. But I like my workplace, so it would not matter if I were perdiem or not. I went perdiem to spend more time with my family, not less time at work so much.

    Also going perdiem won't cure the toxic workplace issue. If a place is toxic, you cannot change that by yourself. The only thing you can do is leave it, if possible.


    Being perdiem does not cure a lousy workplace for you. You will still literally get sick going to work; I know this to be true. It only lessens the amount of time you spend there, but toxic remains toxic. If it's truly that bad, you would do well to investigate other opportunities, even if that means leaving the hospital itself. Devote as much energy to that as you can. Another environment will make all the difference in the world, believe me.

    Good luck. I am so sorry you find yourself in this situation.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Feb 6, '07
  6. by   Terry87
    Hi to all
  7. by   Terry87
    So am I the only student nurse here?
  8. by   sandiLa
    I had to switch to PRN due to family circumstances and trying to decide between taking care of my son and getting him to school and sports functions or paying someone else to do it or working all hours and missing out. It worked out fine the first few weeks, then the Nurse manager called me wanting specific dates that I would work. Well I told her that I went PRN and if I could give specific dates I would be able to work full time, that was the whole point. She bugged me to no end. I finally just quit answering the phone. I did go in when another supervisor called on the weekend needing someone PRN. After awhile this NM got on my last nerve and I resigned. I had tried to resign in the first place but it was her idea for me to do the PRN status because she "didn't want to loose me". Well that's what ended up happening anyway. I'm still a SAHM and at times I wonder if I'll ever get to go back to nursing but my son is more important and I will never get this time with him back. We can afford for me to be here so why not. I'm a highly trained taxi driver for a teenager. LOL I won't go back and work there though. They mistreat the nurses there terribly. Good luck with your choice.
  9. by   penname40
    Hey... I recently resigned from my unit because of the very atmosphere you described!... It was like reading my own diary. It was a scary thing for me, but I signed up with 2 different agencies. I am new to agency nursing. I took this action within the past few months. So far, so good. I work as much as I want to. I have worked in one facility where I seem to really fit in well and so they welcome me back when they have a need. The decrease in stress has been wonderful to say the least. The pay is great. I would recommend agency nursing for almost anyone in your position, even if on a temporary basis. You have the potential to have some free time to look into finding the perfect permanent position, if that is what you are wanting in the future. Best of luck to you.
  10. by   Agent99
    Penname:

    Thank you, I'm glad you found a niche in agency nursing. I've also considered that.

    SandiLA:

    Yeah, I'm afraid of the same thing happening. I might just resign and sign up with agency. Thank you

    Smilingblue:

    Yes, toxic is toxic I agree. I might just get a totally different job. I think I am holding on because I really like my coworkers, we are a pretty good group. I might just have to jump and hope for a net! Thank you.

    Nurse Echo:

    Wow, I am glad you are happy now. I am lucky with my spouse, I agree. I am worried for my health. Thanks.

    RN perdiem:

    Yes, that is what I wanted to do. I'm not sure now, I just might make a clean break, it might be better for me.
  11. by   Agent99
    I just want to say A BIG THANK YOU to all of you for your supportive posts. I felt like I was losing my mind, and you really helped me feel better. I hope I didn't leave anyone out.
  12. by   sandiLa
    I hope everything works out for you and you find something that you will happy with. Again good luck to you and don't let it make you sick with worry. A job is not that important, trust me I know.
  13. by   military spouse
    Hello,
    I LOVE per-diem. Switched to it from a PT position at my last job and work per-diem at my new job (different state). I submit which days I am willing to work (I prefer Tues and Wed.) and I almost always get exactly what I want. If they don't need me, they can choose not to schedule me but they can't add days or change the days without my permission. I don't submit availability for entire weeks when daughter/hubby have stuff going on that requires more of my attention. Rarely, am I expected to attend meetings. I love it. Work can be a pleasure when you know that you will only work the shifts you can tolerate. I highly recommend it.

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