You may have heard the name, but what is a PRN nurse? Per diem nurse (PRN) jobs are a specialist area and more people are looking to get into this field, especially those who are already accredited, such as nurses or Registered Nurses (RNs). Per diem comes from Latin, meaning “for each day” or literally “per day.” A PRN nurse is one who works on-call or when there is an urgency to have additional RN nurses. The PRN nurse provides additional workforce to the existing nursing fraternity mostly due to an increase in patient intake or absentee staff.
Some facilities require a PRN to work for days, but may be extended to weeks depending on the immediate need. For example, a PRN may fill a position for a nurse who has gone on maternity leave. Nonetheless, PRN nurses are allowed to choose a work schedule that best fits them. They may opt for one or two days or even short or long-term assignments that best suit their availability. This flexibility allows PRNs to manage their work schedule effectively.
Why Are PRNs Important?
All facilities at one time or another require temporary staffing that may sometimes be as a result of unnatural circumstances such as emergency sicknesses, scheduled, or unscheduled absence of regular staff. Whichever way, the point is that someone has to fill that vacuum until the absentee is back. That is where a PRN nurse comes in. In case there are nursing shortages in a facility, a PRN fills that position
PRN might choose to work for different facilities or units on a daily basis. Therefore, they should be able to make quick decisions in line with different hospital policies and new duties. A PRN should also be flexible to work in different geographical locations and offer diverse services to hospitals. The person has to be familiar with different working environments in order to integrate amicably with different cultures represented in unfamiliar places.
Most companies require the PRN to have an RN license. The staffing agencies often have strict entry credential requirements that the PRN should have. The person also has to go through a thorough assessment. However, it is advisable to work for at least one year as an RN before one becomes a PRN.
PRN positions always pay the full-time nurse pay. Agencies often have a better offer than hospitals. They also give other incentives such as insurance and retirement benefits. Some agencies also pay PRNs immediately after the agreed shift per week and this makes the working conditions very desirable.
The perks of Working as a PRN
Many benefits emerge when you work as a PRN, some of which appear in the sections above. First off, there is flexibility because being a PRN does not place you on a tight schedule. The flexibility in working hours allows you to work on other things even those outside your career. The aspect of being able to set a workable schedule for you makes it very alluring for nurses.
Second, as a nurse, you are able to encounter different facilities, diverse working duties, and different working environments. In other words, you become multitalented such that you have the skill and knowledge to navigate different work environments. If you are the kind of person who likes meeting new people, this experience will be refreshing. Additionally, a PRN might end up working in the same facility working in different departments and maintain flexibility. At the end of the day, you will become an expert in your own field.
What’s more, if you are working as a PRN, there is a high chance that you will get a better pay reward than that of the regular nurse. As a nurse on call, the higher rate of payment covers the inconveniences that the “call’ might bring. Another advantage is that as a PRN, you don’t have to be involved in hospital politics, which is a relief in itself. Working in diverse facilities ensures that there is no such personal attachment to the facility and staff and this alleviates the stress that may come with such attachments.
Finally, the PRN is also a travel nurse. The endless travel opportunities related to the job can be an advantage to people who like exploring new places. The element of experiencing new cultures is thrilling many people.
Drawbacks of Working as PRN
The PRN position does not offer a regular income and that’s why some people are skeptical about it. Since they are only called when a need arises, some facilities may choose to have enough nursing staff that will cater to the need accordingly. Therefore, such facilities may stay for a long time before calling a PRN to give a hand.
Some people are also discouraged by the lack of additional benefits especially when they are enrolled at a facility. However, as seen above, agencies do offer such benefits, which is why it is important for a PRN to request clarity on these issues before signing up with a facility or agency. Generally, a PRN should check the requirements before they even agree to be hired.
While some PRNs enjoy the flexibility that comes with this type of work, others may find it stressful due to certain uncertainties that the job brings. By signing up as a PRN you are simply saying that you will forgo activities to cater for the need that has since arisen. Therefore, you have no option but to comply. However, the relatively high wage caters for the inconvenience.
Before becoming a PRN, you need to brainstorm what the position entails, including the setbacks. You should willingly be able to enter a facility and swiftly change your mindset on the policies of the previous facility. You need to also understand that your position is temporary and, therefore, no need to make any long-standing commitments or even attach to the workforce. The basic understanding is that you are there to fill a need and move to another facility with the same or even a different opening. The diverse experience gathered from working in different units and departments comes as an advantage to your nursing career. Therefore, apart from the inconveniences that the position might bring along, the advantages outweigh the potential shortcomings.