How does Per Diem work?

  1. I have recently passed the NCLEX-PN exam and have been looking for work. Lots of jobs state...Per Diem. One person said it was where you dont get benefits, but you set you own hours. Is that correct? If I wanted to work one hour one day and 8 the next, no restrictions? Could someone please explain how this works? Thanks so much!
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    About ldshaw

    Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 34


  3. by   Blackcat99
    When I use to work per diem they only called me in to work on the week-ends and holidays. No you do not pick your own hours and days. They call you in case another nurse calls in sick at the job.This is the way it usually works. Of course, it does differ in different job situations. I hated it. They would usually call me at the last minute and ask me to come in. For example for a 3-11pm shift they would call me at 2:30pm to come in. At one per diem job they only called me 3 times. Those 3 days were Christmas eve,Christmas day and New Years eve. Hopefully, you will hear from other per diem nurses who have had better experiences than I. Good luck
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    depends on where you work...

    where Iwork you DO PICK HOURS AND DAYS....any holes in the schedule are up for grabs......

    it works a lot better for me than the poster above. if you want more info, PM me Iwill be happy to tell you the good side of perdiem nursing and how to take advantage of it.
  5. by   tntrn
    I also work per diem and like, SBE, I love it. I've done it for 13 years and unless I became the main breadwinner, wouldn't do it any other way. Where I work, I can pre-schedule myself where there are holes in the staffing. And there are more than enough holes to satisfy my needs and wants. Sometimes I am called late if they have an influx (even on days when I'm not scheduled) but I am not obligated to go unless it's one of my scheduled shifts or unless I'm on/call already.

    Of course, in low census times, I'm the first to go, but since I have a very full life outside work, that's never a problem. My paycheck is never the same! But I get 15% in lieu of benefits, so my hourly wage is quite nice and we'll be getting a year-for-year equity adjustment soon, so I'll be right up there with the other 27 year nurses on the pay scale.

    For me, the positives far outweighed the negatives. I must be available one weekend a month which is no problem. I schedule myself 3-11 and sometimes will only work 3-7. I have so much flexibility to travel, enjoy company, plan other events (like weddings) and all. Plus I can schedule my own shifts around the time when my DH is home. I do not work when he's here. He must be gone enough that I really consider his at-home days to be off limits to work.

    I would say that I didn't do per-diem work right after I got out of school. I would suggest that you need some steady consistent work to get the experience you need. Agency same thing. I did that for a while andloved it, but as a fresh-out-of-school nurse would not have had the knowledge to be really useful. So my advice would be to consider a full or part time FTE before you start thinking about per diem work which can be sporadic.
  6. by   ldshaw
    Thank you so much for the great advice. I actually have nine years experience in nursing, but I was active duty Navy. This civilian stuff is all new to me. Thanks again!

  7. by   Tweety
    Our per diems also get to pick their own schedule if they are on the float team, but it's up to the manager if they are unit-specific if they can pick their own schedule or not. They commit to various amounts of hours to week minimum they will work. The more they commit to work, the more money per hour they make.

    They are paid no benefits and are canceled if not needed.

    Here in Florida the census is low during the summer and per diems don't get to work much. Many people like that. I think per diems work well for persons who have another source of income like a spouse, and a spouse whose insurance and benefits they can get on.
  8. by   rn-jane
    I work per diem at two facilities. I recieve no benefits, bascially i self schedule i can work as many hours as i wish. The pay rate is much higher than if i was full time with benefits. One facility i am obligated for 16 hour per week, and only one holiday per season. IT is great when you have other obligations outside the home, the kids love it, mom is home more. If you don't need the benefits it's the only way to go.
  9. by   BRANDY LPN
    I love it too, another big plus where I work is if census is low they can't make you float to another unit, you can if you choose to but you don't have to. I hate to float.