Employee or a Per Diem Nurse? Here’s How to Decide

As a Healthcare staffing manager, you are usually faced with a delicate balancing act when you are deciding on whether to hire employees or rely on travel and per diem healthcare professionals. Even under normal circumstances, this would be an incredibly hard job to do. What exactly do nurses travel and per diem do? They are there to help solve short-term needs but we also have to remember that hospitals and healthcare facilities still need permanent healthcare professionals. There is the best RN per diem jobs that they could choose and evaluate from. So, will you hire an employee or a per diem nurse? Here’s how to decide.

What is per diem pay for nurses?

The pay for a per diem nurse would usually range from $25 to $50 per hour, but in high-demand situations, the payment would go higher. The average pay of a per diem nurse would have to be around $30 to $35 per hour range but you would not receive any benefits in so many cases, like vacation and sick pay.

Highest Paying Nurse Specialties in 2021

Specific Specialty                                                     Salary Annually                            Wage Hourly

ICU Nurse                                                                       $138,909                                                          $66.86

PACU Nurse                                                                   $124,195                                                          $59.71

Labor & Delivery Nurse                                  $114,690                                                            $55.17

Cath Lab Nurse                                                $114,352                                                            $54.98

OR Nurse                                                                       $113,613                                                          $54.62

Does per diem get paid more?

When you are a per diem nurse, you would usually get paid more because they would turn to you when there are roles in hospitals or any other healthcare facilities that are in need of staffing as soon as possible.

Do you have an ongoing need?

You are tasked to hire permanent employees, especially when there are a ton of healthcare facilities that are expected to hold their businesses steady. Trying to predict the demand is incredibly hard because if you do not have enough staff then your facility and your patients would be suffering greatly, especially if you can’t give them the proper care that they need. It is better to improve your flexibility.

How tight is your staffing budget?

You could turn to per diem nurses when you notice that your needs are rising and your budget is tight. For however long it may be, it could be for a day or 3 months, you need to have some funds that are set aside for this purpose. If you want to pull in some nurses to work for you, you could consider expanding, like adding professional development training and giving them a salary that they could not ignore. Although, a healthcare staffing agency will work around your schedule.

How big is your per diem pool?

You could look for a way to expand and make your internal pool so much bigger by considering the use of technology solutions if you want to optimize your internal float pool. Healthcare organizers have a ton of internal pools of part-time, full-time, and per diem professionals so you need to bring your A-game.

How’s your labor market?

Even before the pandemic, the country has been experiencing a ton of nurses who are tired and are thinking of retiring early because they feel like they are at risk and decide to move to safer environments for more lucrative travel nursing opportunities.

How soon do you need support?

Finding, onboarding, and training a permanent employee takes time that you do not have during an immediate crisis because if you are like most healthcare facilities and organizations, then you need support now.

But you could publish the job opportunity through all of your available channels like you normally would if you knew that you would be needing long-term support.

You have to learn from your internal resource pool and external resources to bring in experienced professionals immediately if you have immediate needs, or if you recognize that your staffing demands frequently fluctuate.

You should consider using a technology-based staffing solution if you are struggling to find full-time employees because then, you could easily deploy local, highly qualified healthcare professionals to the sill in your short-term needs and if you choose to hire a per diem nurse, then you are not locked into a 13-week contract as a travel nurse.

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