Pros and Cons of PRN Nursing Positions

Posted By:   Posted On: November 17th, 2015

PRN nursing staffPRN (or temporary) nursing positions are common in many healthcare settings. In addition to PRN, they are often referred to as per diem, or “nursing pool” positions. These positions exist in order to keep health care facilities such as doctors’ offices, hospitals, and clinics operating even when staff goes on sick leave, quits, or when there is an unexpected increase in the patient census. Here are some pros and cons to working a nursing position on an as-needed basis to help you determine if working PRN is a good fit for you.

CON: Planning to pay your bills based off of PRN nursing work is dangerous. Nursing pools will call you when they need you and normally don’t guarantee a set amount of hours to you.

PRO: PRN nursing positions can be an excellent supplement to a nurse’s income or can be a great fit for a household looking for an occasional boost.

CON: Because PRN nurses are staff that fill in when the permanent staff calls off for a shift, you are likely to be called in for the night shifts and weekend shifts when the call-in rate is higher.

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PRO: Freedom. Depending on who you are contracting through as a PRN nurse, you will likely be able to say yes and no to shifts. A word of caution about turning down shifts: most nursing agencies will ask you to work less if you say “no” a lot, so do so judiciously and express how much you hope to work when you first hire on to a nursing pool.

PRO: Per diem nursing work usually pays well per hour and frequently there are opportunities to get time-and-a-half pay for certain shifts.

CON: PRN nursing work usually doesn’t include benefits, paid time off, or unemployment compensation.

PRO: Nursing pool work allows you to get to know the staff without committing to a permanent nursing job. This can help you find your ideal work environment before you attempt to become full-time.

CON: You are likely to get called at the last minute and sometimes can get sent home during your shift.

PRO: If you decide to apply to be brought on as permanent nursing staff and you are already known by the staff, you will typically have an advantage over others that have never had any contact with the facility.

CON: A PRN nurse might, at times, have to float from floor to floor during their shifts. This means you have to be flexible and quick to adapt to new situations and personalities.

CON: Because a PRN nurse will need to get up to speed with their work assignment immediately, new inexperienced nurses are not typically considered for per diem work.

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Desert Medical Careers has a high demand for RNs, LPNs, and NPs in Arizona. We are typically able to easily place nurses in full-time and part-time positions throughout the Phoenix Metro Area. With over 20 years’ experience placing healthcare employees throughout the Valley, DMC is an expert at matching healthcare workers with their ideal work environment. Contact DMC today at (602) 468-6300.

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