What are advantages of per diem?

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of per diem work compared to pool and regular staffing?
    Thank you.
  2. Visit ZoeK profile page

    About ZoeK

    Joined: Aug '07; Posts: 12; Likes: 1


  3. by   Tweety
    Our per diem and "pool" are the same thing.

    They make extra money, depending on their commitment, which is the main advantage. The other advantage is they pick their own schedules based on their committment. A "no committment" can basically pick and choose any days they want, or as little as they want, no weekends and no holidays. They make the least amount of the per diems.

    Another level is 24 hours a week, another level is 36 hours a week - one weekend a month and one holiday a year - these are the ones making the big bucks.

    Staff nurses must work every other weekend, two holidays and can't necessarily pick their schedules.
  4. by   RN4NICU
    Our "pool" and per diem works similarly to what Tweety described, with the "pool" nurses being house resource (they are sent to whichever unit is short) while the per diem nurses usually only work on one unit.
  5. by   RN1989
    Depends on how the institution defines it. I consider Per Diem to be:whenever you want to work and schedule yourself, if they need you, you get to work that day - you do not have to work specific days, number of shifts. You can schedule as much or as little work as you want.

    Some people have a float pool where they get the higher salary, have some say in their schedule, but they have to work a certain number of holidays, weekends, certain number of shifts per week, etc. This arrangement is not as freeing as what I consider PRN work.

    PRN work without having to work a certain number of shifts, times, etc. is the most appealing to me. You make your schedule. If you don't want to work - you don't work. The down side is that you always have to be prepared that they won't need you and you will be cancelled. In which case your finances have to be able to survive cancellations. During the summer in TX - you could be lucky to work 1 shift in a month sometimes. Especially if you work PRN outside agency. But PRN is also great because it helps keep you out of the floor politics some. You do your job and you go home.
  6. by   RNperdiem
    The flexibility(I sometimes work part shifts too), money are the biggest advantages. I work my schedule around my husband's schedule, so he can watch the kids, and we never have to pay for childcare.
    The disadvantages are the lack of benefits, the lack of guarantee of hours, and the sense of not really belonging in your workplace. When I worked per diem in a pool, I could float to 10 different units, and did not have even a mailbox to call my own. I now work per diem in one unit, so that problem is solved.
  7. by   Conqueror+
    Make your own schedule, make more money, avoid a large percentage of unit politics (my personal favorite) ESPECIALLY if you work nights. In 14 years of nursing I have spent 9 as Agency or travel. Love it !!
  8. by   angel337
    the biggest advantage in my opinion is the increase of pay. as far as politics go....as long as you work well as a team and stay out of gossip this can definitely be avoided whether you are staff, per diem or agency. sorry i just had to put my 2cents in for that. when i worked prn it was nice because my salary almost doubled, but you have to be prepared for cancellations. also no benefits. i'm married but it's still nice to have your own benefits especially vacation and sick time.
  9. by   rnmomtobe2010
    I am interested in this option also. Thank you all for the responses.
  10. by   MA Nurse
    Quote from ZoeK
    What are the advantages and disadvantages of per diem work compared to pool and regular staffing?
    Thank you.
    Advantages: more $, less work hours. More weekends and holidays off (where I work), just more flexibility in general.

    Disadvantages: No benefits (if you need them), you don't accrue seniority at the same rate as benefitted nurses, we accrue it at 50% the rate regular staff does, unless you work extra hours.
    Per diem works better for nurses who want more time with their family, IMO.
    Also, per diem is first to float and last to get overtime in my facility.
    Last edit by MA Nurse on Nov 3, '07 : Reason: forgot something
  11. by   suanna
    One disadvantage I haven't seen posted- you are expendable. I worked with a nures who has 18+ years of senority at our hospital. She opted for per diem for the incerased pay and greater control of her days. Worked out great for a year but staffing improved and she found to earn the increased pay she had to be available 24/7 for 3-4 units. She was canceled 1 time in 2 and had no benifits, no bidding rights, no sick time, no vacation. Finaly she got into a minor tift with a supervisor and the next thing you know -shes outa here; fired with no recourse. Almost 20 years of commitment to an institution and she is tossed like yesterdays newspaper. I urge everyone thinking about per diem to consider how mush job security is worth to them.
  12. by   DeLana_RN
    I work per diem in a hospital dialysis unit - a position that cannot be filled from the float pool for obvious reasons. I have an agreement with my manager that I don't have to adhere to the "regular" PRN contract - two weekend shifts per month - because I would not be able to (dh, an ICU nurse in the same hospital, works every weekend for premium pay. We have young children and don't want to put them in daycare; therefore, we coordinate our shifts and cannot work on the same days). Other advantages: I have no minimum obligation (nor guarantee, but that's OK). I'm part of the team, maintaining my skills and learning new things, and will be able to switch to part-time/benefits or full-time when I'm ready (if I want to!)

    On the flip side, I don't get benefits; my pay is the same as that of the staff nurses who receive benefits; I get called off a lot if our census is low (it fluctuates a lot, especially in the summer; however, dh is always able to get OT if he wants to). Yes, I think I should get paid more, but overall this arrangement works for us.

    I can recommend per diem work - one of the benefits of nursing.

  13. by   RNKPCE
    I think every hospital does things a little differently. Some hospitals the per diems are always in the float pool at others you are assigned to a unit and some have both unit per diems and float pool per diems. I think the amount you work can also vary. I work at the unionized hospital and I have to work 4 shifts in 4 weeks with 2 of them being weekend days. I can be granted 2 4-week periods a year where I don't have to meet my committment.

    I love the flexibility. I have done this for 3.5 yrs after work about 16 as scheduled staff. This works much better with my family. I also am paid 25% more. I still do charge and precept at times.

    Downside- no benefits(don't need them get them from husband), no paid sick or vacation time, and cancelled first if regular staff don't want a day off. This has happened only twice in 3.5 years for me.
  14. by   Conqueror+
    Quote from angel337
    as far as politics go....as long as you work well as a team and stay out of gossip this can definitely be avoided whether you are staff, per diem or agency. sorry i just had to put my 2cents in for that. .
    Well that's really great for you but unfortunately that is not true everywhere. When I worked for HCA is a prime example. How about coming to work on time everyday and doing a thorough job bringing you drama because it makes others "look bad" and they run to the unit manager for petty things about you to give you trouble. are you one of those "team players" that are willing to cover up mistakes so that "the team" doesnt look bad ? And lastly are you a yes person? If so then you probably can get along anywhere. I have worked agency and travel in many settings and states. I just happen to know for a fact that the environment is not the same evrywhere and when you don't "belong" to the facility you avoid alot of things and you have the flexibility to leave if it gets dangerous or unprofessional. My 0.98.