Nurses have options when it comes to the terms of their employment. Many of those in this line of work are given a choice between accepting a per diem nursing position and moving forward with a career as a travel nurse. Which type of nursing career makes more sense for you? Find out after checking the essential points of comparison below.


We cannot compare per diem and travel nursing positions without discussing the potential earnings. On average, travel nurses made $1,673 weekly before the pandemic. These days, some travel nurses can earn more than $4,000 per week.

How much can you expect to earn from a per diem nursing position? According to ZipRecruiter, the average weekly salary for per diem nurses is $1,496. On the high end, they can make a little over $1,700 in a week.

Working Hours

Why do travel nurses make more than their per diem counterparts? The workloads of both positions can help provide an answer to that question. Simply put, you will have to work more as a travel nurse.

Hospitals employ travel nurses to address urgent staffing issues. You can still negotiate the terms of your contract, but there’s a good chance you’ll have to work weekends and holidays as a travel nurse. Travel nurses also don’t have much control over their shift schedules.

Taking on a per diem nursing position means you decide when you want to work. If an opening requires working days you cannot fully commit to, you can decline it and wait for something better. Maintaining that kind of control appeals to nurses who have already spent many years in the profession.


Travel and per diem nursing positions also differ in terms of working location. Being a travel nurse means you work where openings are available. Sometimes, that may require moving to a state you’ve never been to. Living away from your loved ones can be difficult, but the opportunity to explore new places is appealing.

A per diem nurse can stick close to home if they prefer. You can continue going through job openings until you find a per diem nursing position in your desired location. Many nurses with young kids appreciate having that opportunity.

Both per diem and travel nursing positions have their pros and cons. You simply have to consider your priorities to figure out which type of nursing position will suit you better. Contact us today for more information about these nursing positions.

Posted 8/1/23