How much nursing experience for per-diem position?

Nurses General Nursing


How much nursing experience do you think I need in order to work as per-diem? I have a full-time RN position on an oncology/med-surg floor and will reach my 1 year mark on June 2. Do you think I'm capable to work in a smaller hospital as a per-diem nurse. I plan to work one shift (12 hrs) per week.

Thanx so much!

April, RN, BSN, RN

1,008 Posts

Are you planning on working per diem in the same specialty? One thing to think about is that many hospitals give per diem hires a very short orientation. With your one year of experience, do you feel comfortable being essential thrown into the mix of a new hospital with new co-workers, policies, patient population?

Everyone is different, but I have been a nurse for 2 years now and I think I now feel confident enough in my skills and experience to do per diem on another unit. I'm not sure I would have been able to handle an emergency or other unfavorable event in a setting I wasn't familiar with after only one year. That's just me though. I'm sure there are people who do go per diem or agency after only a year of experience and do fine.

Specializes in Licensed Practical Nurse.

Having 1 yr of experience under your belt can get your foot in the door, employers don't compare the status of a position to work experience, meaning that whether the job is full time, part-time, on-call, or per-diem they will want someone with a certain amount of experience because after all you still have to be able to take care of patients no matter how long your shift is or how often you come to work per week. Good luck!!

Specializes in Gyn Onc, OB, L&D, HH/Hospice/Palliative.

I think it would depend on the length of your orientation. I think it's reasonable w/one year if it were in the same dept/specialty or close, but lots of other stuff to learn, new computer system, charting, med system etc.,.. may be completely different, so that may take a while, and a little harder if your'e only going in once a week, JMTC


178 Posts

Thank you everybody for replying!

I actually got the per-diem position already and awaiting for orientation to start soon. The nurse manager said the orientation will only be 2 days. Basically is to orient me to the floor like where eveything is, charting, computer system, etc. This hospital is much smaller (180 beds) compares to my full-time position where they have close to 600 beds. I'm hoping it will be easier and less crazy since it's a smaller hospital. Since it's a per-diem job, I feel like I can give up anytime I want to. Really NO commitment.

April, RN, BSN, RN

1,008 Posts

Smaller does not mean easier and less crazy by any means. The patients might be less acute though. As you said, if you try it out and don't like it, you don't have to go back. Maybe you'll find out you like the new hospital better :)

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