Per Diem vs. Travel Nursing Jobs: Which Is Right for You?

Last Updated on May 9, 2023

woman per diem nurse at her job, featuring a stethoscope around her neck wearing a purple nurse uniform holding a clipboard and pen

Nursing is an essential part of healthcare in the U.S., and with your skills, you have many job options to choose from! From travel to per diem nursing career options, so many nurses today are enjoying the flexibility of choosing the best option for their careers. But: when comparing per diem vs. travel nursing jobs, which one is right for you?

What’s The Difference Between Per Diem vs. Travel Nursing Jobs?

If you’re looking for an assignment with some flexibility, or that offers more adventure and variety than a standard full-time role, per diem and travel nursing jobs fit the bill. Both involve working with facilities that need nurses for specific periods of time — to cover a shortage, accommodate a spike in activity, or many other reasons.

However, there are a few main differences between per diem vs. travel nursing jobs and assignments you must know!

Travel Nursing Assignments

Travel nursing jobs are usually limited positions that involve working in a different part of the country than where you live. When facilities can’t find enough nurses to meet their needs in their immediate area, they rely on us to provide candidates from other parts of the U.S. Though some travel nursing jobs are part-time, most are full-time, 13-week engagements, similar to working a standard contract.

Whether it’s the next town over or across the country, travel nursing jobs give you the chance to live and work somewhere new, without having to pay for moving and travel expenses. You can also build valuable career experience working in a different type of facility than you may be used to, learning new procedures, tech and management styles. Best of all, you get the chance to help people in need.

>Travel Nursing Tip: Looking to explore travel nursing? Learn how to become a travel nurse!

Per Diem Nursing Assignments

Per diem nursing jobs are usually more flexible, offering the chance to pick up shifts on a more ad hoc basis — sometimes working a few hours at a time, or just one or two days a week. Shifts can be either pre-scheduled, or on an on-call basis. When working on call, you’re usually filling in when a facility has a temporary shortage of nurses, or are experiencing surges in demand.

Per diem assignments give you a huge amount of flexibility over your schedule and the amount of time you’re working (or not working). They’re ideal whether you’re interested in just working part-time for a while, if you want to pick up some extra shifts on top of your regular position, or are looking for temporary work while you pursue your dream job.

Per Diem vs. Travel Nursing Jobs: What are the benefits?

Benefits of Travel Nursing

Are you looking for adventure, or a chance to explore new parts of the country with all travel expenses covered? Maybe you’re looking to spend time in another state to be closer to friends or family there. Or maybe you’ve just finished a position and want a chance to gain some experience before you make another long-term commitment. If any of this rings true for you, travel nursing is the way to go!

For instance, when you work a travel nursing job with CareerStaff, you get:

  • Full insurance coverage, including medical, vision, dental and life
  • Competitive pay and a great 401(k) plan
  • Access to a staffing specialist who’ll arrange travel and housing and help troubleshoot any issues
  • The option to extend contracts in some facilities

> Ready to jump into Travel Nursing? Explore Open Travel Nurse Jobs!

Benefits of Per Diem Nursing

Are you seeking flexibility, or the chance to work a few shifts without a larger commitment? Maybe you’re in a phase of life that makes for difficult scheduling — say, attending classes, raising a child, or caring for an injured or elderly loved one. Or maybe you already have a great job but want more hours. Either way, per diem nursing jobs are a great way to keep earning while setting your own schedule.

For instance, per-diem nursing jobs give you:

  • The option to choose when you want to work
  • The chance to avoid working holidays and weekends
  • Pay that’s often higher than the standard rate

> Prefer to work local or per diem nurse jobs? Explore nursing opportunities nationwide!

Explore Travel & Per Diem Nursing Jobs Nationwide with CareerStaff

Comparing per diem vs. travel nursing? No matter which option you choose — or even if you prefer a local contract assignment — you can find the nursing job you’re seeking here at CareerStaff Unlimited. As one of the nation’s longest-running and most reliable nursing job provider, we’re proud to offer opportunities throughout the United States.

Ready to get the ball rolling on your next nursing job? Take the stress out of finding your next assignment and join the CareerStaff roster today to speak with a dedicated recruiter!

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