Per diem and travel nursing share some similarities, but they’re slightly different styles of nursing. If you’re a permanent nurse wondering what options are out there for more flexible contracts, you’re not alone. Each flavor of nursing has different perks and downsides. Read on to find the differences between per diem nursing and travel nursing!
Per diem nursing means “by the day” nursing.
How it works: You find an assignment through either hospital staffing pools or a placement agency. You get to work when you want as well as where you want. However, per diem assignments are undependable by nature. A per diem nurse is only there to fulfill a temporary need. Once the hospital is able to find a nurse with a more reliable schedule, your assignment will be canceled, and often at the last minute.
The perks of per diem nursing: never having to work weekends or holidays, an incredibly flexible schedule, and great pay. The con of having that vanish at any time though is certainly one to consider.
A travel nurse works a temporary staffing assignment in a city of their choice.
How it works: Travel nursing is typically a 13-week assignment. You would find available placements through an agency like PPR Travel Nursing. As a travel nurse, you have the flexibility of working wherever you want, but you also have the job security of 13 weeks. Contracts are most often listed 13 weeks long and 36 hours per week. Things like reimbursements are often listed as weekly items. Meanwhile, base pay is listed at hourly rates.
The perks of travel nursing: great pay that’s not necessarily dependent on experience or education; non-taxed stipends for things like housing, meals, and other incidentals; the ability to live like a local in various cities; travel reimbursements; and stability for the entire duration of your contract. The con (compared to per diem nursing) is having to work some weekends or holidays.
We might be a little biased, but there are a lot of advantages to travel nursing! Still not convinced? Talk to one of our awesome, friendly recruiters.
By Aubrey Schieuer