Per Diem/PRN pay national comparison

  1. Hey all,

    I am curious how prevalent this is. I work per diem as a nurse in my state and in exchange for forfeiting the usual benefits the hospital provides, am compensated with a higher hourly wage.
    I have no PTO, no tuition reimbursement, no medical insurance coverage from the company (I buy private), or other benefits most nurses have. Although I do have a 401K match.

    I recently learned that some states and areas pay their PRN and Per Diem nurses the exact same as a FT or PT nurse makes. I don't think that is fair considering how those RN's have no privileges or access to receive benefits.

    My question is... does your hospital/area/state pays PD/PRN nurses more per hour?
    Or do the nurses on the unit all make the exact same regardless of FT, PT, PD status?
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    About ICUman, RN

    Joined: Dec '13; Posts: 1,760; Likes: 3,836

    25 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    My area pays more, but Per Diem would be a great fit for me even if it didn't. The control over my schedule is a wonderful benefit. I automatically get off any days I need as opposed to having to beg for them only to be refused.
    I do have a 401k and a very small allotment of sick leave.
  4. by   cleback
    I get no sick or vacation time or health benefits or shot term disability. No tuition reimbursement. I do have a 401k with employer match.

    The other thing that's nice is I only have to work/be available 2 shifts per two week period and only one weekend or holiday shift per month. I've heard of sone employers requiring their prn staff to be available three shifts per week, which is absolutely insane to me.

    Oh, and I get a $2 differential.
  5. by   ICUman
    Quote from cleback

    The other thing that's nice is I only have to work/be available 2 shifts per two week period and only one weekend or holiday shift per month. I've heard of sone employers requiring their prn staff to be available three shifts per week, which is absolutely insane to me.

    Oh, and I get a $2 differential.
    So are you saying that the pay is $2/hr more than regular staff for being per diem?

    I guess I'm really spoiled because per diem in my location pays $20/hr more and the weekend and holiday requirements aren't enforced on my units.
  6. by   hherrn
    I work per diem in 2 hospitals.
    Each has a set rate, regardless of experience or credentials.
    If you get a per-diem position with 2 years of experience, your rate looks pretty good. At nearly 15 years, not so much.
    My hourly rate went up, and I get earned time. And, I used to pay for some of my own, non-requred certs: ENPC, CCRN, TNCC, CEN.

    The difference in pay represents a 7% raise.
    My earned time, assuming I use it all, represents another 15%.
    My health insurance benefit is worth about $10,000 in real money, or a bit over 5$ an hour.

    So, when I first started per-diem, it looked good- I made about 6$ an hour more working per diem. Now, as I actually do the math, I was getting pretty well hosed
  7. by   RNperdiem
    When I started per diem 17 years ago, my hospital wanted to build an in-house float pool to eliminate the need to ever hire agency or travel nurses.
    So the set rates were very good.
    The more departments a nurse was willing to float between, the higher the base rate. Someone who worked per diem in one unit would make a lower base rate than a nurse who worked float pool between ICUs and stepdown units. We still get get shift differentials and holiday pay.
    The pay for me was very good. I was a fairly new nurse and the per diem rates were considerably higher. Unfortunately, the rates remained unchanged until just this year. Experienced nurses described taking a pay cut to go per diem.
    We finally did get a small raise this year, but overall, the per diem rates are not as high compared to where they used to be.
    Even though I might not get vacation pay. I like the other things I don't have.
    I don't have to be in charge. I don't have to join a committee and come in on days off for meetings. Nobody is bugging me to get a BSN. My yearly evaluations are simpler. I take vacation whenever I feel like. I get to pick the holidays I want to work. Per diem lets me keep nursing as a job rather than a career, and that helps my work-life balance.
  8. by   Rocknurse
    In my per diem job I get paid $6 LESS an hour than I do in my full time job. The only reason I accepted that is because the hospital is literally 30 seconds from my front door which makes it very convenient. They told me in the interview that the rate is $X and there is no negotiating. The days of making a bundle doing per diem are over.
  9. by   klone
    Our facility pays per diem nurses 20% greater than equivalent nurse in a benefited position.
  10. by   ICUman
    Quote from Rocknurse
    In my per diem job I get paid $6 LESS an hour than I do in my full time job. The only reason I accepted that is because the hospital is literally 30 seconds from my front door which makes it very convenient. They told me in the interview that the rate is $X and there is no negotiating. The days of making a bundle doing per diem are over.
    That is very convenient and I imagine a lot of perks living so close by. However "making a bundle" as a per diem still exists, I am doing exactly that. But maybe you were referring to your specific location.
  11. by   Rocknurse
    Quote from ICUman
    That is very convenient and I imagine a lot of perks living so close by. However "making a bundle" as a per diem still exists, I am doing exactly that. But maybe you were referring to your specific location.
    No, not really. I live and work in a very high-paying area in the North East. Don't get me wrong...the per diem pay is still very good in comparison, but it's not as much as I get for my full time job because I'm a specialist in my field and am at the top of the tier. The only difference is is that my main job is in a major teaching hospital in the middle of the capitol city, whereas my per diem job is in a small town at a community hospital. That may explain the pay difference.
  12. by   Dean Uguan
    Quote from ICUman
    ...
    I have no PTO, no tuition reimbursement, no medical insurance coverage from the company (I buy private), or other benefits most nurses have. Although I do have a 401K match.
    Are you still eligible for shift differentials and overtime (40+hrs) pay?

    While I'm a nursing student, I'm still interested in topics that may be important to me in years to come. I already have health care coverage and I'm already in a sweet position, retirement wise.

    However, if I could work per diem and get 401K matching, I'd be all over that.
  13. by   cleback
    Quote from ICUman
    So are you saying that the pay is $2/hr more than regular staff for being per diem?

    I guess I'm really spoiled because per diem in my location pays $20/hr more and the weekend and holiday requirements aren't enforced on my units.
    Correct. $20 is a heck of a lot... holy cow... would be my overtime pay.
  14. by   ICUman
    Quote from Dean Uguan
    Are you still eligible for shift differentials and overtime (40+hrs) pay?

    While I'm a nursing student, I'm still interested in topics that may be important to me in years to come. I already have health care coverage and I'm already in a sweet position, retirement wise.

    However, if I could work per diem and get 401K matching, I'd be all over that.
    Yes, I receive weekend differentials and OT pay as well. You can work per diem and get a 401K match with certain companies. You know where I am referring to.

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