How PRN Nursing is Solving Workforce Challenges during Nursing Shortage

PRN Nursing

PRN nursing or Per diem staffing refers to a type of employment arrangement in which individuals are hired on a day-to-day basis. Basically, to fill temporary or short-term positions. In the context of staffing, it implies that individuals are paid daily rather than being salaried or paid hourly.

The healthcare industry is currently undergoing a massive transformation as nurses leave the profession in droves. This exodus, fueled by factors like burnout, long hours, and high-pressure environments, has created a significant concern for decision-makers in healthcare facilities.

As seasoned registered nurses exit the industry, the immediate aftermath of staffing shortages places immense pressure on existing healthcare staff, impacting the quality of patient care. The long-term ramifications include the loss of valuable skills and knowledge, influencing a facility’s reputation for years to come.

Understanding the Exodus: Why Are Nurses Leaving?

Burnout, long working hours, and taxing work environments are central reasons for nurses departing from their profession. The demanding nature of nursing often leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, making it challenging to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Dissatisfaction accrues, prompting nurses to explore alternative career paths and less stressful options.

Understanding the motives behind this exodus is crucial for finding sustainable solutions within healthcare facilities. Grasping the full extent of this exodus helps stakeholders and administrators take proactive action to mitigate the inevitable loss of experienced nurses.

Short-Term Ramifications

As nurses leave the industry, the immediate aftermath is a strained healthcare system. Staffing shortages increase workloads for remaining healthcare professionals, potentially leading to fatigue and errors in patient care. Inadequate staffing levels strain the efficiency of healthcare facilities, affecting their ability to provide timely and optimal care. Short-term solutions, like overtime for existing staff, are only temporary and pose risks to long-term staff well-being and patient safety.

Long-Term Ramifications

The departure of experienced registered nurses carries profound implications for individual facilities. The loss of expertise and institutional knowledge can lead to a decline in the overall quality of patient care, negatively impacting patient outcomes and satisfaction levels. Additionally, high turnover tarnishes the reputation of healthcare facilities, making it challenging to attract and retain top talent, hindering growth and advancement.

PRN Nursing: How Does It Work?

“Pro re nata” or PRN nursing, is a flexible staffing solution increasingly adopted by healthcare facilities to address staffing challenges. PRN nurses integrate into the existing facility infrastructure as needed, providing a buffer during patient volume surges or critical periods.

Facilities can tap into a network of PRN nurses when there is a surge in patient volume or sudden departures from full-time nursing staff. Having a roster of PRN nurses enables facilities to maintain an adequate nurse-to-patient ratio during these periods, ensuring optimal patient care throughout the year.

How Facilities Can Harness PRN Nursing to Supplement Their Staff

Leveraging PRN nursing can significantly supplement existing staff and enhance operational efficiency. Facilities can strategically schedule PRN nurses during high-demand periods, maintain adequate nurse-to-patient ratios, prevent burnout among full-time staff, and uphold high standards of care. PRN nurses also offer a flexible and reliable solution to cover unexpected schedule gaps caused by illness, emergencies, or unforeseen leaves.

Most importantly, relying on PRN nurses is an excellent option when facilities need to fill the void left by experienced nurses exiting the industry. As the nursing exodus continues, a reliable network of PRN nurses can supplement staffing levels in the short term, preventing long-term issues arising from chronic overwork.

Better for Facilities, Better for Patients

As the nursing exodus continues, the PRN nursing model is poised to play a vital role in the future of nursing and healthcare staffing. Its flexibility and efficiency in addressing staffing needs make it an asset for healthcare facilities of all sizes. In a broader sense, the rise of PRN nursing reflects a shift towards a more adaptable workforce that aligns with the dynamic nature of the healthcare industry.

PRN nursing emerges as a valuable solution, offering flexibility and adaptability to address staffing needs. The PRN nursing model allows healthcare facilities to tap into a pool of on-demand nurses during periods of high patient volume or unexpected staff departures. This strategic approach helps maintain optimal nurse-to-patient ratios, preventing burnout among full-time staff and upholding high standards of care.


By leveraging PRN nursing, facilities can navigate the short-term repercussions of the nursing exodus. Thus, preventing chronic overwork and ensuring continuity of care. Moreover, embracing the PRN nursing model reflects a broader shift towards a more adaptable workforce. Therefore, aligning with the dynamic nature of the healthcare industry.

Ultimately, the rise of PRN nursing represents a positive step towards ensuring the well-being of healthcare professionals and the quality of care provided to patients in the face of ongoing workforce challenges.

Smarter way to hire nursing talent

Employer Demo

Sign up for SkillGigs Newsletter and Stay Ahead of the Curve

Subscribe today to get the latest healthcare industry updates