Wow. This is why I asked.
First, I'm not crossing a line as one poster said by questioning this behavior. My hope was to understand what counts as per diem.
Yes, the agency is allwoing it... they allow anything. We know this, and we're lying if we say otherwise. We're lucking if agencies have our backs, they definitely do not have the families' backs in most cases.
I understand that many nurses enter home care because of this interpretation of flexibility. But that does not make it professional. In no other job would you be able to get away with just taking the equivalent of weeks and weeks off of work, while an employer holds your position for you. We know that if we take a summer off, or a medical leave, that we could lose our position. Why then is it ok to take that same number of days off spread throughout the year? Answer: Because we know that probably the family will put up with it.
I agree with trachmom, the reason nurses and agencies get away with this is because the customer, the families, are that needy. Something to think about.
I also have to say that most of the nurses I've worked with do NOT think they can just take days off every month, when they're working stable shifts. We take pride in our job, we recognize that we've been asked to perform a very important job, for people who are suffering (patients AND their families). There seems to be a great split between PDN nurses (and agencies) as to what is counts as professional.
And I'm not sure where all of this venting about being forced to cover shifts for other nurses is coming in, or being forced to work and take not time off. I didn't argue for that, and either has any family I've worked for. Just looking for basic, minimum professionalism.