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Per Diem Nursing Demand is Rising… But What’s Coming Next?

by Cade Webb

In recent years, the demand for per diem staff in nursing has been steadily increasing and today, reaching the status of industry standard, driven primarily by the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the subsequent effects on evolving healthcare needs, staffing challenges, and changing workforce dynamics.  

Per diem nursing offers flexibility, adaptability, and valuable skill sets that align with the demands of the modern healthcare landscape. In this article, we will explore the factors contributing to the rising demand for per diem employees in nursing and discuss what the future holds for this dynamic workforce. 

  • Meeting Fluctuating Staffing Needs: Healthcare organizations often face unpredictable fluctuations in patient volumes, seasonal demands, and unforeseen circumstances such as staff illnesses or emergencies. Per diem employees fill critical gaps, ensuring adequate staffing levels to maintain high-quality care during these challenging times. The increasing demand for per diem nurses stems from the need for a reliable workforce that can be scaled up or down as needed. 
  • Flexibility and Work-Life Balance: Nurses, like professionals in all industries, seek work-life balance and flexibility. Per diem nursing provides the opportunity to choose work schedules, locations, and assignments that suit individual preferences. This flexibility allows nurses to balance personal commitments, pursue further education, or explore alternative career paths. As a result, more nurses are opting for per diem roles, contributing to the growing demand in this sector. 
  • Cost-Effectiveness for Healthcare Facilities: Hiring full-time nurses involves significant costs, such as benefits, training, and onboarding expenses. Per diem employees provide healthcare organizations with a cost-effective alternative. By employing per diem nurses, organizations can optimize staffing levels, align costs with patient demand, and reduce budgetary strain. This financial advantage has contributed to the increasing demand for per diem employees in nursing. 
  • Response to Workforce Shortages: The nursing workforce shortage is a pressing issue faced by healthcare organizations globally. Per diem nursing helps mitigate this shortage by offering a pool of experienced professionals who can step in during times of high demand or staffing gaps. The flexibility and availability of per diem employees play a crucial role in maintaining continuity of care and addressing workforce shortages effectively. 

What Comes Next? 

As the demand for per diem employees in nursing continues to rise, several trends are likely to shape the future of this workforce: 

  • Enhanced Integration of Technology: Per diem nurses will increasingly leverage digital healthcare solutions, telehealth, and remote patient monitoring technologies to deliver care beyond traditional settings. This integration of technology will enhance their ability to provide flexible and efficient care, further driving demand for their skills. 
  • Specialization and Advanced Certifications: Per diem nurses may pursue specialized certifications to strengthen their expertise in specific areas of healthcare. This will expand their opportunities to work in specialized roles or address specific patient needs, meeting the growing demand for highly skilled per diem professionals. 
  • Collaborative Workforce Models: Healthcare organizations may adopt collaborative workforce models that incorporate a blend of full-time, part-time, and per diem employees. This dynamic approach optimizes staffing levels, ensures cost-effectiveness, and enhances patient care by utilizing the diverse skill sets of different nursing professionals. 

The increasing demand for per diem employees in nursing reflects the changing landscape of healthcare. These flexible and adaptable professionals play a vital role in meeting staffing needs, providing quality care, and maintaining work-life balance.  

Looking ahead, per diem nursing will continue to evolve, embracing technology like Trio Shifts, specialization, and collaborative models to address the challenges and opportunities of the ever-changing healthcare industry. With their valuable skills and contributions, per diem nurses are poised to make a lasting impact on the future of healthcare delivery. 


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