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Per Diem and Travel Nursing: The Perfect Combination

Per Diem Nursing: A Great Career Choice

By Melissa Hagstrom, contributor

Kathy B., RN, likes to keep things within the AMN family of companies. The stepdown/PCU nurse has been taking per diem shifts with Nursefinders for almost two years now. When she is not picking up shifts, she is working her full-time travel nursing assignment at Kaiser Sunset in Los Angeles with American Mobile Healthcare. It’s safe to say that Bodie is one busy nurse.

“I do per diem nursing in my hometown. In between my travel assignments I go back down to San Diego and I pick up shifts,” she explained. “Per diem nursing keeps me tied to home so I can come home and be with my mom and my family and also work. And then I am still able to do my travel assignments.”

Bodie works per diem at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego, and she hopes to float around to other hospitals in the area in the future.

After launching her nursing career in Florida, Kathy knew she wanted to get back to the West Coast and one of the best ways to do that was to embark on a travel nursing career. “It was a great way to move from another state and already be working,” she said.

Towards the end of her first travel nursing assignment, Nursefinders brochures were passed out at the hospital and Kathy immediately became intrigued by the idea of per diem nursing. She had never even known this type of nursing had existed beforehand.

“Per diem gives me the most flexibility--the flexibility is key, that’s why I do it,” she explained. “You’re free. Nursing is a hard job and you need to have your time off.”

Now that Kathy is an experienced per diem nurse, she can’t imagine ever not being involved with Nursefinders.

“I love the freedom of per diem nursing. With a regular job you are working for your vacation and days off. With this, you can take your days off and it’s just a better balance. That’s what per diem gives you...a better balance with your work and your life. You are in charge of your career and your schedule.”

In addition to the ideal work/life balance, per diem nursing has also allowed Bodie to expand her skill set and advance her career professionally by pursuing an online advanced degree. “I am currently applying for programs to get my master’s. You can do this while you are working--it’s exciting knowing you can do that. And with per diem you can schedule your shifts around your tests. It just works out very well.”

“You are going to learn a lot from each facility because everyone does things a little bit differently,” she said.

Since Kathy was already a traveler within the AMN family of companies, getting started with Nursefinders was a breeze since they just transferred all of her information over.

“I am very loyal,” Kathy said with a laugh. “I love AMN so much because it is such an organized and big company. Once I was with Nursefinders I found that they were very professional and positive. I’ve had great experiences working with them. They are good people to work with.”

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