Just the other day, I wrote about a freelancer who failed to realize that she might qualify for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. What I failed to do, which I realized after the post was published, was admit that I, too, am freelancing it these days.

Today marks the first day of trying on pure per diem for size. In nursing, there’s a few types of positions: full time, part time, 3/4 time and per diem. It simply means “as needed,” and while coming with a higher pay rate, lacks benefits and guaranteed hours. I’ve gravitated into this role after six months of full time temp work, and for the first time in my career, I’m crossing my fingers.

I chose to test the waters of flexibility for awhile because I’ve been feeling a push to step back from the bedside and into more writing and policy-centered pursuits that align with the work I’m visualizing in my future. But the comfort of a full time position is a hard one to break. The money is consistent, the schedule a pattern. This feeling of uncertainty, while exactly what I need, is a bit hard to chew this morning, like a piece of charred sourdough.

My first inclination is to look for a job. That is the “fix” that nursing binds you to; an addictive chase for security. But the comfort comes with a price – full time work is exhausting, can drain of creativity, leaves little left for the pursuit of new. At least for me. So, here I embark on a new chapter of my nursing adventure. Thankful for my degree, my certification, my hireability, but taking a jump into the unknown to see if there’s more than just FTE out there for me.

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