What Does PRN Stand For?

Doctors make use of a number of different abbreviations to record information and give instructions to their patients. It is, therefore, quite common for you to have no clue about what your doctor has written on your prescription. Similarly, you will often find yourself confused when they use specific terms, like PRN, while describing your condition. What does PRN stand for? Have you heard about this term before?

What Does PRN Stand For in Health Careers?

PRN is the short form of "pro re nata", which means, "As needed". Your doctor won't always use it.

  • ŸThey often use this term when they want you to use your medication "when you need it" instead of taking it regularly on a daily basis.
  • ŸIt is important to understand that healthcare employers and professionals also use the same term to refer to contract, short-term, fill-in or part-time work by a nurse.
  • ŸMoreover, there are some other possible yet rare meanings of PRN, such as "physicians' research work" or "pill right now".

What Is a PRN Nurse Position?

When used in reference to medication, it is easy to understand what PRN means. But it becomes a little confusing when used in relation to the PRN works. In order to get a betterunderstanding to "what does PRN stand for?" it is important to learn a bit more about the PRN nurses.

1.  Work Schedule

Assignments for PRN nurses can be of different duration. Their work may only be required for a day or for several weeks, depending on why a professional has called them in. For instance, they may have to offer their services for several weeks if they are required to fill in for a nurse on maternity leave. They will obviously be needed for a short duration only if they are filling in for someone who's out sick. PRN nurses usually have the freedom to select the work schedule that best suits their needs. They can even set their own schedules when the demand for their services is high.

2.  Working Conditions

PRN nurses need to be quick learners because they will have to work in different units and at different facilities. They will have to adjust to new policies, duties and colleagues. Some nurses work for an agency and usually have assignments at hospitals. It is also possible for these nurses to work as per diem nurses and offer their services in different departments. This way, they are able to offer their services in the same environment but in different departments.

3.  Requirements

What does PRN stand for if you see these words in some job recruitments? It is definitely a nursing position. Most hospitals and agencies will hire PRN nurses who have RN licenses. Staffing agencies usually have very strict requirements, including more than a year of critical care experience as well as excellent credentials and references. Agencies might also ask PRN nurses to take competency tests before getting a chance to work with them.

4.  Benefits

Not all agencies will offer benefits such as paid sick time or time off, but some will give you vacation after you've worked with them for a certain number of hours. On the upside, you don't have to beg for a day off – you're free to take a leave whenever you want. Another great benefit is that as a PRN nurse, you're probably going to earn more per hour as compared to staff nurses. You may get an impressive deal if the hospital desperately needs someone to fill a slot. The hospital administration may already be familiar with your work ethics, so you will have a higher chance of working in a full-time position.

5.  Drawbacks

As mentioned already, you may not get any money when you're taking a day-off. You won't be able to get a consistent salary. Sometimes, all you get is an opportunity to work night shifts to get some money. This may not work for all. You won't be getting any disability or unemployment pay. Your hospital may keep throwing you into new units every day and that can be quite uncomfortable at times.

Now you know, "What does PRN stand for as a nursing position?" and you also know the drawbacks and benefits of working as PRN nurses. Just take your time and decide if that's what you want to start your career in healthcare industry. 

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