Per diem nursing jobs (or PRN nursing jobs) are a great draw for nurses. You can work your regular job and pick up a PRN job on the side as a way of making extra money. PRN jobs generally pay a more generous hourly wage than a staff position as PRN jobs usually do not carry any medical or paid time off benefits. The flexibility of a PRN job, whereby nurses can choose their own schedule, working as much or as little as they want during a month, offer a time management factor that is most advantageous to parents of young children, those wishing to keep their up their skills, or simply nurses who want a part-time option without adhering to a set schedule. Because of the infrequency of shifts worked, PRN nurses often find they are able to avoid unit politics and cliques which frequently overrun many units.
Per diem jobs do carry a few cons with them as well. Nurses who specialize may have a more difficult time finding PRN jobs in their niche. PRN nurses also must attend mandatory in-services and staff meetings as well. Typically PRN jobs carry no medical benefits, no pension plans, no paid time off and no holiday pay. A PRN nurse may work a holiday alongside a staff nurse and earn less per hour. One way to avoid the no-benefit trap is to take a PRN job with a staffing agency. The nurse is then an employee of the staffing agency and frequently these agencies, in order to form a pool of PRN nurses, offer the same benefits that a regular hospital staff position carries.
The pros and cons of a PRN position should be carefully weighed against working as a part-time nurse. The pros and cons of part-time work are roughly the same as PRN work, and the part-time hours make a nurse eligible for more benefits.