Per Diem???

Nurses General Nursing


Hi Everyone,

I'm a nursing student and new to this BB....I've been lurking for several years and have learned so much!!!!But of course, there's still lots more for me to learn!So here's my 1st question. What exactly is per diem?I understand it means no benefits...I guess my question would be If I work per diem which benefits do I lose?Do I still accrue sick days and vacation?Would you recommend a new grad work per diem? Thanks all for the enlightenment!!!!

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho.

I dont know about others, but in my facility per diem amounts to availablility to work 2 days a month(usually at your discretion which days you choose), you will be the first called off if you are scheduled and census is low and noone else volunteers to take the day off. No vacation,, No sick days(my hospital doesnt give sick days, only personal days but per diem doesnt get them either), it takes twice as long to get to your raise because it is based on the number of days you actually work. If you dont work the specified number of days in a year you wait until you have worked that many before you get your raise.

Please dont see this as totally negative,, it is great for someone who has a family and doesnt want to work the long hours or be away from home,, or someone who is in school. I did it for 2 years while i was in school myself.


41 Posts

Per diem in our facility is called "occasional status"

No benefits, no guaranteed time to work but are required to work either one weekend or four off shifts a month if needed along with one winter and one summer holiday, again, if needed. Are first to get sent home for low census. However I was able to work an average of 4 days a payperiod of my choice while my kids were growing up, did it for 12 years before taking a regular part time position and had accrued seniority the whole time.

Husband had benefits and I could get the time off I needed for the family without difficulty because I was always very flexible and agreeable to take as much time as I possibly could to cover for everyone elses vacations, maternity leaves etc...


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

what RCK said is what my perdiem job sounds like. I LOVE IT.

Welcome to the boards!!!


2,719 Posts

per deim literally means per day.

Generally per deim do not work a full week every week. Although that is not always so.

You are not considered a regular employee. You are utilized on an as needed basis. Often per deim nurses pick the days they are available and if they are needed those days they get to work. You do not get any benefits period. But because you are not receiving benefits you get a higher hourly wage. The amount varies from one facility to the next. I get 15% over my base pay.

The problem with doing this as a new grad is that I think it would benefit you more if you had steady reliable hours as a new grad. The first year you are learning. You need to have a regular routine and reliable hours of work. It is hard to learn when you may only be working on a sporatic basis.


127 Posts

Most hospitals require you to have at least 1 year (sometimes 2) of experience in the area in which you would be working before they will allow you to work as a per diem/PRN/registry (all are the same thing) employee.

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