One of the qualities people want nowadays with their career is flexibility. Not only to be on top of their schedule or deliverables but taking into account other aspects of their lives such as work-life balance, spending more time with family or diversifying their jobs in order to gain more skills. In the nursing world, there are two options for a nurse to get this flexibility, that is per diem and travel nursing.
Let’s start with per diem. Per diem refers to per day in the financial world. This is when facilities would take a nurse with specialty, let them render service not as a full time employee but on per day or as needed by the facility. Some nurses prefer this as it is more an open contract, they get paid per hour and can work in multiple facilities. They can manage their schedule for Facility A on Weekdays then provide service to Facility B. Or sometimes their day is a combination of serving patients in Facility A and B. So if you are a nurse who wants to focus on serving diabetic patients, you can opt to serve specific patients with that condition. With all these perks, it also has its disadvantages such as the facility may cancel hours before the actual visit or service.
What about Travel Nursing? Travel nursing is pretty much like per diem except that it has longer terms. Instead of per patient visit, they can be contracted for several weeks and are not limited to one county or state. They may go from state to state in order to fill in gaps in the facilities. This setup may be advantageous for nurses who want to explore different cities with less spending as some facilities cover the mileage and relocation expenses. Not only can a nurse explore the place but they will be able to have a broader sense of healthcare in different states and facilities - which is a great opportunity for learning. Disadvantage of travel nursing is that it may have less flexibility given the longer commitment than per diem.
So for all nurses who want to leave a more structured setup in hospitals, these may be some options they can consider.