I work perdiem and love it. But my dh has a benefitted job, so we have med/dental w/his job. I have none of the hassles of being part or full time and make 15% more being PD. Also, I work when I want to. I am not obligated anything beyond 4 shifts/mo. It works very well for me. I work when I want to and am off when I want to be. Flexibility is a two way street, however, and I will work w/my coworkers and manager to help out when needed, if I can.'
The facts are these:
-you will get a Per Diem differential in lieu of benefits, ranging, usually from 10-20% above base pay for regular nurses.
-you will generally get no benefits, such as medical/dental/educational or paid time off (PTO), BUT do get to participate in thrift savings/retirement plans, such as 401K (which I max out and have since I became employed).
-you accrue no seniority when it comes to securing positions within the organization. this means, when stacked up against 'regulars", you will not have points seniority-wise, when applying for positions within your organization. this can hurt if you want to get a job in another department or go from day to night shift in yours----the regulars, full or part time will take priority over you, every time. but you WILL get pay increases by year, just as "regulars" do.
-there are no "guaranteed" shifts and most places, perdiems are cut first when census is low---so it's possible you will have "zero" paychecks, if you are cut enough.
-you get the "leftover" shifts, meaning, the regular staff sign up for what they want first, and then you fill the holes.
-you generally get to take vacation and time off when you want, albeit unpaid. This means, no having to stand in line behind others based on seniority, you just tell them when you are available and when you are not, and then you take off. I love that.
-you will be mandated/obligated to work at least "some" shifts in a given schedule. Many places, this means 2 regular shifts and two weekend ones. And most places, this also may mean at least one major holiday, such as Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving etc.
Make sure you ask your Human Resources personnel for details on how Per Diem works in your hospital.
Per Diem is the ONLY way to go for me----I love the flexibility.