Content courtesy of IntelyCare.
A recent study revealed that nursing professionals feel more insecure about their financial futures today than they did a year ago.
It’s an unsurprising statistic, given the rising cost of daily essentials like groceries, gas, utilities, and housing. What is surprising is that despite being worried about finances, more than half of the healthcare workers polled for the study would be willing to take a reduced paycheck in order to have a more flexible work schedule.
Long-term stress from being overworked and under-supported can affect a person’s mental and physical health, interpersonal relationships, and work performance. One way healthcare workers can alleviate that stress is by switching to a work environment that allows for more flexible schedules. A great way to do this is by venturing into the world of per diem nursing — working “by the day” or as needed. How can you determine if switching to per diem nursing is right for you?
Who can work as a per diem nurse?
The first question to consider is whether per diem work is available to nurses with your specific licensure. The great news is that all types of nurses can work per diem — from certified nursing assistants (CNAs) to registered nurses (RNs).
That said, it’s important to understand the other requirements you might need to satisfy before switching to per diem.
For instance, CNAs can usually begin working per diem after earning their certifications. However, it’s recommended that they gain experience working full time or part time in traditional settings before making the shift to per diem. Facilities may require several months of experience for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and RNs that they hire on a per diem basis. Since LPNs and RNs often lead teams of nurses and aides, it’s important that they have a firm understanding of the job beforehand.
Will you receive benefits?
For many nursing professionals, working per diem is a “side gig,” and insurance is a benefit they have through their full-time positions. However, if you’re looking to make the switch to per diem full time, you’ll want to consider how you seek out those shifts. A healthcare talent partner that offers to hire you as a W-2, or salaried, employee rather than as a contractor could also allow you to sign up for benefits.
Working as a full-time employee with a healthcare talent partner may offer additional benefits such as continuing education resources and access to a dedicated staff member who’s there to help you through all the steps from the application process to your first shift and beyond.
Are you looking to expand your nursing skills?
By working per diem, you can take shifts at new facilities or in new environments. One facility might have an innovative piece of technology that you want to learn about, while another might allow you to test out a new specialty without making a lasting commitment. Per diem nursing creates perfect opportunities to expand your nursing skills and your horizons.
Do you need more work-life balance?
Nursing is a demanding profession. Challenges like being on your feet for a long shift, dealing with emotional turmoil from losing a patient, or picking up overnight shifts can take a toll and lead to burnout. By switching to per diem, you can create your own schedule and figure in more “me time.”
When you can choose your schedule, you can take better control of your finances and plan your free time. If you’re saving up for a big purchase or making a down payment on a house, you can pick up additional shifts. If you’re balancing work with child care, you can pick shifts that will give you more time with your family. Or maybe you just need a break. Per diem allows you to take time off when you need it.
For many nursing professionals, the idea of moving to per diem carries with it the fear of the unknown when leaving the stability of a full-time position. But with per diem shifts, nursing professionals can have more control over their career paths and can more easily balance their personal and professional lives.
With IntelyCare, you don’t have to choose between a work-life balance and great pay and benefits – you can have it all. Want to see for yourself? Join the movement and become an IntelyPro! Check out more content from IntelyCare here.