Flexible schedules. Top pay. Versatile locations. If you are one of the many registered nurses considering working for a per diem travel nursing agency – we’ve compiled a list of five per diem nursing benefits to help you know what to expect.
What is Per Diem Nursing?
The name “per diem” in Latin literally translates to “by the day”. In the case of registered nurses, it often means “by the shift”. A registered nurse who works per diem is offered a shift or several shifts usually by a nursing staffing agency, and the RN can either accept or turn down the offered work hours.
You may already realize the perks of being a travel nurse, but there are unique per diem nursing benefits you might not be aware of. If you decide to pursue a per diem nursing career, you will benefit from new experiences, income opportunities, and professional growth.
Five Per Diem Nursing Benefits
What are the benefits of per diem nursing? Keep reading as we name the top five perks of being a per diem nurse.
1. Enjoy Highly Competitive Wages
Perhaps one of the most well-known per diem nursing benefits is the high pay rates. Typically, a nurse working per diem is going to receive a much higher hourly rate than a full-time registered nurse working in the same setting.
The average registered nurse salary for a full-time RN is $73,550 according to data from the Nurse Salary Guide. A per diem registered nurse can make as much as $100,000 annually.
Every nursing staffing agency and every hospital has their own pay rates, so this rate is literally just scratching the surface of possibilities when it comes to per diem nursing pay rates. For instance, did you catch the story of the per diem nurse that’s gone viral who earned $19K in only two weeks picking up per diem shifts in California? Yes, $19K in two weeks. Let that one sink in for a minute.
As a travel nurse myself, I have picked up many shifts on a per diem basis working in Ohio. While pay rates for registered nurses in the Midwest are not nearly as impressive as what this nurse made in California, on average I would make about $10 an hour more than the staff nurses at the same hospitals.
2. You Have Complete Control of Your Schedule
No matter what profession you choose to go into, your schedule and how much control you are able to exert over that schedule is a huge factor when it comes to your choice of career. Per diem nurses often choose this line of work because of the flexible schedules.
Work when you want. Work where you want. Your per diem travel nursing agency will offer you a shift, or a series of shifts, and you have the power to either accept or decline the work. If you want to take more time off during the holidays, you can. Conversely, if you want to bank some of the sweet pay benefits that are offered during the holidays, you can do that too!
When I worked as a per diem nurse, I would always take the available holiday shifts that offered double time pay rates. Because your pay rate working per diem is already high, the double time is even sweeter.
3. Enjoy Tax-Free Benefits and Reimbursements
While there are many per diem nursing benefits, the tax breaks are some of the best perks of this type of career. Some of these professional benefits which are tax deductible include:
- Cost of uniforms, including laundry and dry cleaning expenses
- Malpractice insurance
- Phone, internet, computer-related expenses related to your job (which also includes warranties, apps, and software)
- Professional licensing costs
- Cost for continuing education (including books)
- Costs related to your job searches
- Trade literature costs
A per diem nurse salary is already higher than a full-time nurse’s salary. When tax time rolls around, you can see how these tax breaks and deductions can quickly add up to a generous income.
4. You Develop Cultural Competence
One of the biggest adjustments when it comes to per diem and travel nursing is doing your job in new places all the time. When working as a per diem nurse, you might not be creating a consistent relationship with your patients or coworkers, but you will develop what is known as cultural competence. This term “cultural competence” references the ability to navigate yourself in new environments and settings, around new people, in order to provide the best possible care for your patients.
Per diem nurses often work in different hospitals and settings. As such, you will learn how to adjust to new locations and demographics quickly, which will improve your ability to communicate, connect, and interact with no people seamlessly, with minimal tension and difficulty.
5. You Can Learn Multiple Specialties
As a per diem nurse who works in multiple facilities, you will be given opportunities to work alongside colleagues in a variety of specialties. You are able to learn and grow in these positions and you will often work as a float nurse who works on different units. You will help the other nurses on the floor and take patients as appropriate.
By making strategic decisions when it comes to the assignments you choose to take on, you can hone your skills in one or more specialties, which makes you highly valuable to employers.
Are You Ready to Work with a Per Diem Travel Nursing Agency?
Did you know that some nursing staffing agencies will also offer healthcare and other benefits to per diem travel nurses? While full healthcare and dental packages are not always options, there are other per diem nursing benefits that most agencies provide, including:
- Holiday pay
- Around-the-clock access to recruiters
- Access to certification classes
- Bonus pay opportunities
At Elite Specialty Staffing, we offer travel nursing benefits and per diem nursing perks that are competitive. As the nurse, you are the core of our business, and your needs and professional growth are always the top priorities. If you want to learn more about per diem nursing jobs or travel nursing opportunities, give us a call today at 208-378-1338.