Per Diem Nursing vs. Full-Time Nursing: Which is Right for You?

Have you ever found yourself standing at a career crossroads, unsure of the path to take? If you’re a nurse, this decision often boils down to two options: per diem nursing or full-time nursing. In this blog post, we aim to shed light on these career choices, helping you understand their distinct features, benefits, and challenges. Ultimately, we want to assist you in making an informed decision that aligns with your lifestyle, career goals, and personal preferences.

Understanding Per Diem Nursing

Per Diem Nursing, from the Latin phrase meaning “per day,” refers to nursing professionals who are not committed to a consistent schedule but rather work on an ‘as-needed’ or ‘day-to-day’ basis. These nurses fill in gaps in hospital staffing, often working on-call, and are typically paid on a higher hourly rate due to the flexibility and unpredictability involved.

The Advantages

Working as an on-call nurse offers a unique set of benefits that may be attractive to some individuals:
  1. Flexibility: One of the standout advantages of this arrangement is the flexibility it offers. This role allows you to choose your shifts, making it an excellent option for those who have family commitments or other obligations that require a more adaptable schedule.

  2. Higher Earnings: Another appealing aspect of this role is the potential for higher earnings. You may have the opportunity to earn more than you would in a traditional nursing position.

  3. Variety of Experience: You have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings and departments. This can provide a broad range of experiences that can enhance your skills and knowledge.

  4. Autonomy: With the ability to choose when and where you work, this role also offers a higher degree of autonomy compared to full-time positions. This independence can lead to greater job satisfaction for some individuals.
Per Diem Nursing presents unique advantages, such as flexibility, higher earnings, a variety of experiences, and a high degree of autonomy. These benefits make it a compelling choice for individuals seeking a non-traditional nursing role that aligns with their lifestyle and career aspirations.

Understanding Full-Time Nursing

Full-Time Nursing refers to nurses who are employed on a permanent basis, often working a set number of hours per week, typically around 35 to 48 hours per week. They have a consistent schedule and are generally eligible for a full range of benefits.

The Advantages

Full-time nursing, while more traditional, presents its unique set of advantages that make it an attractive career choice for many. Here are some of the key benefits:
  1. Job Security: This position often offer a high degree of job security. With a stable position, you can have peace of mind knowing your job is secure.

  2. Regular Income: Unlike per diem roles where earnings can vary, this role guarantees a steady income, making financial planning easier.

  3. Comprehensive Benefits: Full-time nurses typically have access to a comprehensive benefits package. This often includes health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and sometimes even tuition reimbursement for further education.

  4. Professional Development: This position often provides more opportunities for professional growth and advancement. You can benefit from consistent training, attend workshops, and climb the career ladder within your organization.
This role offers a level of stability, consistent income, comprehensive benefits, and opportunities for professional development that make it a preferred choice for many. Choosing this path can lead to a rewarding, long-term career in healthcare, providing both personal satisfaction and financial stability.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Per Diem and Full-Time Nursing

Deciding between the two is a personal decision that should take into account your lifestyle, career goals, and personal preferences. Here are some factors to consider:
  • Personal Lifestyle and Family Commitments: If you have young children or other family commitments, the flexibility of Per Diem Nursing may be more suitable.

  • Career Goals and Aspirations: If you’re aspiring to advance in your nursing career, a Full-Time Nursing position might offer more opportunities for professional growth.

  • The Need for Job Security and Regular Income: If a regular paycheck and job security are important to you, Full-Time Nursing could be the right choice.

  • Preference for Variety and Change: If you thrive on change and variety, Per Diem Nursing might be more appealing.

  • Benefits Eligibility: Both part-time and per diem positions may offer benefits, but the extent and cost of these benefits can vary. Consider what benefits are important to you and how they factor into your decision.

  • Work-Life Balance: Per Diem Nursing can provide a better work-life balance due to its flexibility, which might be crucial if maintaining a balanced lifestyle is important to you.

  • Cost Factors: Healthcare facilities often hire per diem nurses to cut costs like insurance and paid time off. This could mean fewer benefits for you as a per diem nurse compared to a full-time position.

  • Commuting Distance: If you prefer to work close to home, per diem nursing typically offers this advantage. In contrast, full-time nursing positions may require longer commutes or even relocation.

The choice between Per Diem and Full-Time Nursing involves considering multiple factors such as personal lifestyle, career goals, job security, need for variety, benefits eligibility, work-life balance, cost factors, and commuting distance. It’s a multifaceted decision that should align with both your professional aspirations and personal needs.

Ready to secure your ideal nursing role? At Total Nurses Network, we’re committed to connecting talented nurses like you with rewarding, full-time positions across a wide range of healthcare facilities. Visit Total Nurses Network today and explore the myriad of opportunities waiting for you. If you need assistance or have any inquiries, please feel free to reach out to us via our contact page.

Conclusion: Weighing Your Options

Choosing between Per Diem and Full-Time Nursing is a significant decision that should reflect your personal and professional needs. Both options have their unique advantages and challenges, and understanding these can help you make an informed choice.

Whether you value flexibility and variety or stability and benefits, remember there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer. It’s about finding what fits best with your lifestyle, career goals, and personal preferences.