Taking a per diem nursing position can provide great flexibility in your work schedule. However, that flexibility requires planning to ensure you work enough hours to meet your income goals without getting overbooked. Follow this advice to plan your schedule efficiently as a per diem nurse.

Build Relationships With Multiple Facilities

The key to maintaining a steady stream of work is having relationships with several healthcare facilities or staffing agencies that offer a per diem nursing position. When you have standing relationships with multiple facilities, it’s easier to piece together a full schedule each week. Aim to regularly work shifts at your top three preferred facilities. Check-in monthly about open per diem shifts. The contacts you establish will think to reach out to you first when they need to fill a shift, giving you your choice of work opportunities.

Use a Calendar to Track Commitments

Get an at-a-glance view of your schedule by recording all your committed hours on a calendar. Note the date, location, shift hours, job, and point of contact for each assignment. Having all your bookings mapped out makes it easier to identify days you should leave open for new opportunities and prevents double booking yourself. A calendar also allows you to tally up your total hours for the week or month to ensure you’re on track to meet your goals. If you see gaps in your schedule, you’ll know to reach out to your contacts to line up more per diem nursing shifts.

Build Flexibility Into Your Availability

While getting consistent bookings is key, being too rigid with your availability will limit your ability to accept last-minute jobs. Leave at least two weekdays wide open so that you can reserve for short-notice shift requests. Decline to commit these days more than 48 hours in advance. Also, establish your minimum shift length, such as four or eight hours, and avoid signing up for anything shorter. Leave wiggle room to tack on a few hours here and there as needed.

According to Grand View Research, as of 2020, the global per diem nurse staffing market size had a valuation of $7.6 billion. By actively managing your per diem nursing relationships, calendar, and availability, you can build the flexible work schedule you want. Be consistent on follow-through, communicate clearly about days you’re available, and update your contacts on any changes so you become their go-to per diem nurse. If you’re looking for a per diem nursing position, we can help you fill in your schedule. Call Concentric Healthcare Staffing now to get started.

Posted 4/22/24