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  • Writer's pictureBeyond Medical Staffing

A Guide to Hiring Skilled Per Diem Nurses


As healthcare facilities continue to face staffing shortages, per diem nurses have become an essential part of the industry.

These temporary nurses are skilled professionals with specific traits that make them invaluable assets to any facility.

Are you thinking about hiring per diem nurses for your healthcare organization? It’s crucial to know what skills and qualifications to look for before extending the offer. This ensures maximum patient care and facility satisfaction.

Below, we’ll delve deeper into the key per diem nurse skills to look for when hiring.

The importance of maintaining nursing staff

Providing services to patients is of utmost importance in any healthcare setting. But in order to be successful, proper nursing care must be provided.

Outstanding nursing staff can increase the overall satisfaction of patients and help increase patient recovery rates. All good things for any healthcare facility in today’s challenging environment.

For nurses to be able to do their jobs well, healthcare facilities should maintain a reasonable nurse-to-bed ratio. When facilities are short-staffed, a good ratio becomes difficult to maintain and everyone suffers.

Why some facilities hesitate to hire per diem nurses

In many ways, per diem nurse staffing is as important to facilities as regular full-time employees. But like many other industries, healthcare facilities prefer to hire in-house staff. Outsourcing their needs comes with a variety of questions. This is especially true when it comes to hiring nurses. Because in many ways, nurses are the face of a facility. Using ones that aren’t permanent employees could be complicated.

For instance, different places have different policies. The healthcare industry has long been known for its intricate rules and laws. Some facilities worry that per diem nurses won’t be as familiar with the facility’s policies and procedures.

Another reason some facilities hesitate to hire per diem nurses is that they fear the quality of care may suffer. Nurses have high interaction with patients. Bringing in someone who isn’t loyal to a specific healthcare facility can cause hiring managers to hesitate.

Additionally, due to the nature of their contracts, per diem nurses aren’t around as much as full-time staff. They may have less opportunity to build relationships with patients and their families. Ultimately, some facilities worry this could damage the level of care they provide.

Why per diem nurse staffing is the right solution

Per diem nurses provide an important service to healthcare facilities. According to Grand View Research, the global per diem nurse staffing market was valued at $7.6B in 2020. It is expected to grow about 4.9% annually from 2021 to 2028.

Per diem nurses can provide much-needed relief to full-time staff. For instance, they may help to fill staffing gaps when nurses are on vacation or out sick.

Another opportunity for per diem nurses is when a facility has a higher than usual patient census. Having per diem nurses available can help to ensure the facility runs smoothly and patient needs aren’t overlooked.

Additionally, per diem nurses are often more flexible with their schedules. They can cover shifts that other nurses may not be able to commit to.

What should healthcare facilities look for when hiring per diem nurses?

Per diem nurses are responsible for providing high-quality patient care. In order to be successful in this role, here are some qualities they should possess.

Experience: Those with experience in the specialty/field can hit the ground running and require minimal orientation. They are also less likely to make mistakes and will be able to better handle any unforeseen challenges that arise. Also, experienced per diem nurses can be a valuable resource for staff nurses, providing them with guidance and support.

Personality: Called upon to work in challenging and demanding environments, per diem nurses should have a positive outlook. Additionally, they should be able to get along well with full-time staff members and possess outstanding communication skills.

Flexibility: Someone who is able to work around the schedule of your full-time staff, filling in when needed, is ideal. This is a valuable skill to have in today’s healthcare industry, where staffing shortages are common.

Reliability: Patient care should never feel compromised by the staff that you have working for your facility. Checking references may give a good indication of past attendance and availability.

Understaffing continues to pose challenges for healthcare facilities. Per diem nurses can provide much-needed relief during staffing shortages, high patient census, or unexpected absences.

By embracing the benefits of per diem nurses, healthcare facilities can address their staffing needs. This will help them continue to provide excellent care to their patients.

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