Most nurses enter a full-time staff position after graduating from nursing school. Though this is a great way to get comfortable with your new career, some RNs soon find themselves itching for a change. The top alternatives are per-diem and travel nursing. If you’re currently trying to decide which career path is right for you, you’re not alone. Here’s what you need to know before making your decision.
Travel nursing is the ideal mix of excitement and security
Travel nurses accept short-term contracts – usually 13-weeks long – at facilities that need extra staff. If you decide to become a travel RN, you will likely work in many cities throughout your career.
· Pros of travel nursing
Travel nurses have excellent pay and other benefits, one of which is right there in the name: travel. Travel RNs get to see different parts of the country and live in new, exciting areas. Because they partner with a travel nursing staffing agency, they also have easy access to many helpful resources. For example, your travel nursing staffing agency may help with travel arrangements, finding lodging, and keeping track of your nursing licenses across state lines. If you become a travel nurse, your recruiter can also serve as your advocate and guide to make sure you have a good experience at every one of your facilities. Travel nurses almost always have guaranteed hours, meaning you’ll never have to worry about dips in your paycheck because of shift cancellations.
· Cons of travel nursing
Again, one downside is right there in the name. If you aren’t excited by the idea of moving to a new area, travel nursing might not be for you. Even when the assignment is relatively close to home, most travel nurses spend several nights a week away from their house and family. Compared to per-diem nurses, travelers also have very little flexibility; since they are filling a specific position, they are expected to work the shifts that are chosen for them with very little negotiation.
Per-diem nursing is best for those who value flexibility
Per-diem nurses are like the freelancers of the nursing field. They take whatever work is available and are free to accept or reject shifts at will – no questions asked.
· Pros of per-diem nursing
The big draw of per-diem nursing is flexibility. When you get to pick and choose your shifts, it’s easy to work around all of your other responsibilities, interests, and hobbies. For a great work/life balance, it’s hard to compete with per-diem work. In addition, per-diem nurses generally have higher hourly wages than full-time workers do.
· Cons of per-diem work
Though per-diem RNs have few obligations to their facility, they don’t get much in return, either. Insurance and other benefits won’t be offered. Hospitals can also cancel your shifts at any time and without consequences, making it hard to plan your budget.
Finding the balance that works for you
MSG Staffing has job openings across the country for both per-diem and travel nursing positions. That’s right, you can have your cake and eat it, too! Our expert recruiters can help you mix, match, and compare your options to guarantee that your needs are met. Contact us today to find out more about our exciting travel nursing and per-diem job openings.