Why Choose a Permanent Nurse Job


Why Choose a Permanent Nurse Job

By Alana Luna, Contributor

Permanent nurse jobs are in demand, with the job outlook for registered nurses growing at a rate of 15 percent — far faster than the national average for other positions. Still, there are both pros and cons to choosing a permanent nurse job over a per diem or travel assignment.

If you’re wondering why people choose permanent nurse jobs, this list may shed some light on how you want to shape your professional future.

Find comfort and security with  permanent nurse jobs

The primary distinction between permanent nursing jobs and per diem or travel work lies in their basic structure. Kyle Elliot, MPA, CHES, the career and life coach behind CaffeinatedKyle.com, deftly outlines the difference between the two: “If you're looking to vary up your experience or get bored easily, consider travel or per diem work. Permanent jobs offer stability and more often come with benefits than travel and per diem assignments.”

If you’re someone who enjoys a frequent change in scenery or who thrives on flexibility, the spontaneous nature of an on-call position or a travel job might be right up your alley. For those already having trouble coping with on-the-job stress, a permanent position is almost a necessity.

Build rapport and a reputation

Rebecca Park is a nurse manager at one of the busiest hospitals in New York City and the founder of natural health resource RemediesForMe.com. As such, she’s in a unique position to see how a permanent nursing job can be both beneficial and challenging; when looking at the positive aspects, familiarity and strong relationships are high on the list.

Park suggests that when you work a permanent position in the same facility with the same people, “you are familiar with your team and unit, and you can build your skills and become more of an expert in your department.”

It takes time to build a reputation for dependability, reliability and a passion for patient care, but those are all characteristics supervisors look for when considering employees for a promotion. It’s harder to build friendships and professional momentum when you’re always on the move.

Settle into a routine

Finding a rhythm to your work day isn’t just about ensuring your own comfort level, it also plays a role in reducing mistakes. About one-third of nursing-related malpractice cases are related to communication issues, perhaps related to per diem or travel workers who feel unheard or awkward speaking up due to their role as an outsider.

Other errors like poor patient monitoring and subpar documentation could be the result of temporary employees who aren’t properly updated on their current facility’s rules and regulations. One reason why permanent nurse jobs are preferable, says Park, are because you can become “more familiar with an organization’s policies and procedures.” When that happens, everybody wins.

Why permanent nurse jobs can be difficult

For all the benefits that come with permanent nurse jobs, there are also some significant drawbacks — though how much these supposed cons weigh on your decision depends largely on your personality and goals.

Park mentions a lack of variety as a key consideration when candidates consider why they may choose a permanent nursing job over other career options. When you’re a full-time employee at one facility, “every day is pretty much the same,” says Park. “You are stuck with the same group of colleagues, which may not be good if you do not enjoy working with them, [and you’re] stuck with the organization if you do not particularly like it.”

When to try out a per diem or travel assignment

If you love to travel, Park suggests trying out a travel nursing job. As a travel nurse, you can explore the United States or even international locations for free and learn about other cultures on your days off. There’s also the matter of free housing, and Park has a tip: “If you can find cheaper housing, you can keep the leftover money from the allotted amount given to you for housing.”

Per diem nurses are valued because they pick up the slack when hospitals and other healthcare facilities need help the most. “Managers appreciate when you can come in because you are usually coming in on the days that the unit is short-staffed,” says Park. Plus, you won’t be in line for charge duties, which may appeal to nurses who prefer to leave the administrative and supervisory responsibilities to others.

Both per diem and travel positions come at a potential cost. Temp nurses with short contracts may struggle to build a rapport with coworkers and won’t have the same in-depth knowledge of organizational policies as a permanent employee might. Park is quick to point out that short-term workers “do not get health insurance (depending on the agency), and do not get paid for sick, emergency, personal or vacation days.”

Per diem positions can be particularly tricky. Though you can pick which days you want to work, you can’t always pick your assignment, and you may end up with the grunt work without a ton of support. “You may not be working with the same colleagues and do not get a chance to build rapport with them,” warns Park. “Asking for help can be difficult because you do not know a lot of people well.”

While the nursing field seems more secure than ever, the type of job you sign up for may not be the one you previously thought. When considering why you’d choose a permanent nursing job over a per diem or travel contract, be sure to weigh the pros and cons and decide which aspects matter to you most.

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