Help need advice! LVN Per Diem or LTC

  1. I am basically fresh outta school with 4 months experience on spinal cord injury and med/surg in a very respectable hospital. But due to the stress of being on a flex schedule being bounced around from day shifts to nights multiple times in one week, week after week has finally taken its toll on me. I'v given my 2 weeks and plan to move to another facility. At the moment i have two options.

    Option 1:

    I can either work for a per diem staffing agency that will guarantee me in writing at leat 32 hours per week for 13 week contracts at an exceptionally high rate. This agency only staffs LTC facilities. The great thing about this is... I choose the days and hours i want to work which is great! Also.. at the end of a 13 week contract i can take a vacation and come back with another 13 week contract guaranteed. My concerns are that by working per diem at only 4 months experience i might get overwhelmed. The staffing agency assures me i will be fine as they even hire new grads right out school with no experience. Their reasoning is that the facilities they work with actually prefers new grads so they can teach them their ways. Let me get one thing straight.. THIS IS MY DREAM OPPURTUNITY because i am able to take a vacation at the end of every contract (3 months) and see the world (go to japan, china, korea, europe). THIS IS MY DREAM to be able to do this. My fear is because i do not have much experience, i may be putting my license at risk here. If I am able to, I WANT to try this out so i can be in complete control of my schedule and be able to vacation at the end of every 3 month contract.

    Will I be way over my head if i choose to work with this agency on their 13 contracts per diem to LTC facilities? Is it a ridiculous notion to be working at a staffing agency for a couple years? Maybe 2 years or 3 max.

    Option 2:

    I already got accepted at a great long term care facility on a TOTALLY CHILL unit. All the patients are ambulatory, alert, no wounds or treatments, and are completely independent in most respects. The hours are great and most importantly... stable. 7am in the morning to 330pm 4 days on 2 days off but is still considered full time. No random over time or unpredictable schedules that fluctuate from night to day. The turnover rate here is very very very very low. The work environment is great for the most part and almost all nurses who get hired here stay coz of the low stress great environment. When i toured the place, the environent is very family like, its awesome! The chill of chill jobs. During the interview i was told that they want nurses who will stay as well, so i would feel bad if i spent a few months there, and than left. I spent the last 8 years of my previous career in the computer field completely stressed out of my mind (almost had a nervous breakdown a few times). This would be a great place to heal the old wounds left over from my old career.

    Quite honestly, my heart lays in option 1 though because if i grow old and never see the world i am gonna filled with regret for the duration of my life. That and being able to control the days and hours i work. This is one of my lifelong dreams... But my fear is.. if i go per diem with option 1 i may not be experienced enough to handle the job and may be putting my patients and license at risk.

    Please give me some advice! I am stuck at a crossroads and need to choose a path very soon.
    Last edit by psidood on Mar 21, '07
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    About psidood

    Joined: Jul '05; Posts: 10


  3. by   dampeer
    I think if you want to really guaranty your money then you should take the full time. If making the money is not as important to you then go per diem. Having worked both I can say per diem is not that great, better if you can get in with 2 or more compaines, but know in order to get your hours in you WILL end up having no choice but to work all shifts. Just think.. if the facility have a job fair.. you will be out of luck until turn over happens again. I see you want to travel, and anything is possible but with enough notice you will still be able to take time off. Not all of it will be paid if your talking 2 or more vacations a year, but you wouldnt get paid anyway for the time off being per diem. Agency sucks most time. Be ready for 45 min - 1.5 hour drives on all shifts, cancellations, and the worst assignments in the building. If you can stand returning from vacation just to find agency hours down meaning you get 1.. 2 shifts a week if youre lucky I would say take it. If you need to make the money right now.. I say dont.
    Good luck with which ever way you go.
    Dressjean LPN 5yrs