Chesapeake Medical Staffing is proud to say we are one of the only agencies in the Baltimore/DC area that supplies staffing support in both a PRN (or Per Diem) and Full-Time (Contract or Travel) capacity. What does that mean for you? It means you have the flexibility to work one day a month or collect overtime pay weekly, all from the widest array of options in the area. So, let’s talk a bit more about how it works.

Per Diem

In Latin, per diem translates to ‘for each day’ and in the staffing world it refers to day to day or one off staffing solutions. We have opportunities in a variety of units at many local hospitals and health systems, as well as long-term care facilities, home care, schools, and other outpatient settings. Every opportunity will have its own clearance process. You can review what facilities have orientation available by visiting our PRN Needs List page, and learn more about each facility on our Facility Information page. Please note that nursing credentialing and orientation processes for hospitals are very extensive. For any hospital based nursing PRN options you must be in ‘active’ status with CMS and cleared for hospital placements. If you are not in ‘active’ status and cleared for hospital placements, please consider our current contract opportunities.

The benefit of per diem staffing is you pick and choose which dates and hours you want to work. There is no minimum hours requirement, but there is also the possibility of a shift being canceled due to patient census or other reasons. You can also try a variety of different setting to learn which work best for you.

In order to start scheduling on a per diem basis, you must complete the hiring process and become a formal employee of CMS. Visit our Employment Requirements page to learn more about the hiring & credentialing process.

Full-Time Contracts & Travel Assignments

If you are interested in a full time agency assignment for an extended period of time, a local contract or travel assignment is likely the best option. The only difference in local v travel is how we pay you. We always keep a real-time list of current openings if you check our Current Contracts page.

These assignments are typically 13 weeks in length (though for local requests they can be shorter, and for high-demand needs they can be even longer) and are usually 36-40 hours per week. Contracts are similar to a short-term staff position, where they will have a weekend and holiday requirement, in addition to requiring scheduling flexibility from the clinician.

For full-time contracts, you do not need to complete the entire hiring process to line up interviews. Staffing coordinators and unit managers will review ‘mini-profiles’ and reach out for phone or in person interviews for candidates that interest them. A mini-profile includes the following:

  • Resume
  • Supervisory References
  • Skills Checklist
  • Potential Start Date
  • Any Dates to request off over the duration of the assignment

Once a phone or in person interview is completed, a formal offer will be presented. If accepted, a start date is worked out in order to give all parties time to review and approve the clinician’s credentials. Once the file is cleared, your 1st day reporting instructions and orientation schedule will be relayed and your are all set to start. About half way through CMS will see if all parties want to extend, and will work out a contract extension or start to line up your next assignment.

Why should I change from my current agency to CMS?

CMS is an RN owned and operated staffing agency that has been in business since 2001. Being RN owned and operated means that our owner has worked as an agency clinician, and has a direct understanding of what an agency clinician wants from his or her agency employer –  lots of options, competitive & accurate pay, great customer service & responsiveness to requests, and advocacy when there is an issue. We started our company with a mission to be a better agency than our competitors who didn’t have that direct agency clinician perspective. We have always put a heavy emphasis into what is best for our employees, not necessarily just our clients or our company. The end result is that you don’t work for us; we work for you. You are not an expense as you may be to a hospital; you are an asset. We take employee advocacy seriously; you are not just a number to us. Read more reasons Why to Work for CMS or review our Testimonials direct from other clinicians like yourself.

What are the pay rates? Do you offer overtime? Are there any incentives to being on contract?

We know your pay rate is one of the main variables you consider when you decide which agency to work for. We keep a close pulse on our local market rates and offer very competitive options for our assignments. We can process your pay to include a per diem if you’re an eligible traveler (Travel Compensation FAQ), and will very clearly break down your compensation structure. You’ll always know what to expect in your check each week, and we’re incredibly accurate when it comes to payroll processing.

RNs are allowed to work up to 48 hours each week so that they can always have overtime hours available. For our travelers, we pay OT at 1.5 x the blended local rate, not your travel rate, so you get full advantage of our policy.

All contract orientation is paid at the full rate, and all of your parking is reimbursed 100%.

Review our Compensation and Benefits page to learn more about these topics and Why to Work for CMS.

Am I eligible for a per diem travel expense reimbursement? How are they calculated?

You are eligible for a per diem travel expense reimbursement if your temporary assignment through CMS requires you to be away from your “tax home” – your tax home is defined as the entire city or general area where your main work is located.  This would also typically be the area of your permanent residency.  Based on government guidelines, we calculate your reimbursement by adding the applicable meals and incidentals rate to the applicable lodging rate, and determine a daily per diem rate.  Here is the government website that outlines these rates, first by state, then by county:

Your hourly compensation varies by facility and unit, but you will know in advance prior to CMS presenting you as a candidate for any assignment. We can provide you with a sample pay stub in advance so that you can clearly see how your per diem travel expense reimbursement and your hourly compensation will appear on your typical weekly pay stub.

Learn more by reading our Travel Contracts & FAQ page.

Do you offer benefits? When can I sign up?

We offer medical, dental, vision, & supplemental benefits as early as 31 days after hire, and 401K benefits after one year of employment, to eligible employees. Review our Compensation and Benefits page to learn more!

How does the transition work if I am currently staff somewhere? Do I have to leave my current position before you can secure me an assignment?

No, you never have to leave a current employer hoping to secure something. You can interview to open positions while working staff, secure your contract, and then give your notice to your current position once we know your start date.  Start dates are typically two-four weeks from the date of interview offer and acceptance, due to education department schedules and current full time employment ending.  Hiring managers often have more confidence when interviewing currently employed candidates as well, and it often leads to successful placements. 

How soon can you secure me an assignment?

That varies greatly based on the candidate and the unit manager’s availability. We can coordinate an interview as soon as you send us the documents we required, and sometimes you will receive an interview and offer within an hour. Typical turnaround from when you provide us what we need to when you speak with a considering manager is approximately 2-3 business days, but again can be much sooner than that.

How soon can I start an assignment?

Anywhere from the following day to 4-6 weeks from the date of interview. Variables that affect start date are your availability, credentialing process, and education department availability. Most facilities request candidates that can start “ASAP”, and based on those variables, it is usually 2-3 weeks. We have credentialed candidates and had them starting the next day, and other candidates have planned for assignments to start well in the future.

What do I need to be submitted to an assignment?

Some facilities will consider a candidate just based on a current resume. Different facilities have different criteria however, and are more or less strict in what they require before they will review a candidate. They typical requirements are a current resume, recent references, and a skills checklist. Review our Employment Requirements page to learn more about what you need to get started. 

What happens when we get close to my assignment end date?

About 6 weeks out from your end date we ask both you and the hospital if you would like to extend the current assignment. If all parties are on board, we sign and finalize the details much like your initial contract. If not, this gives all parties plenty of time to plan for the future to ensure no employment or coverage gaps.

How much orientation will I receive? Is it paid?

Every hospital is different, but you typically have 40+ hours of orientation (general hospital, EMR documentation, and unit specific). All contract orientation is paid at our standard rates, not a discounted amount. Per diem orientation is much shorter, usually a day or two, and is also paid (though the rate can vary by location).

Will CMS cover costs for education classes before I start (i.e. PALS and ACLS)?

If CMS secures you an assignment and you need a certification before you start, we will reimburse half the cost on your first check. Alternative arrangements can be made when necessary to ensure you obtain the necessary credentials for your assignment. 

How many years of experience are required?

Typically 2 years in the available specialty, but if you have lots of clinical experience in other specialties we can always check to see if the unit (and the hospital or health system) will make an exception.

Can I take a contract in a unit other than my specialty?

Usually not, but if the units are very similar we can always check to see if the manager is willing to cross train. Our clients need someone who can hit the ground running which is why ample current experience is almost always required.  

How long do I have to be on contract before pursuing a staff job at the facility?

The standard CMS employment agreement requires you to work 1,000 hours at the facility before taking a staff position, but CMS is happy to pursue staff transitions earlier if we can work out an agreement with the facility directly. Keep in mind 1,000 hours is just two 13-week assignments.

Can I pursue PRN opportunities while under contract?

Absolutely, and remember we pay OT at 1.5x our standard rates for any hours over 40.

Who cuts my paycheck? How often am I paid? Who do I confirm my hours with?

CMS writes your pay check, and we pay weekly. Every facility has its own way of tracking your time and you will have that information in detail before you start. We also provide you with ample reminders to ensure accurate payroll. Once you receive your schedule from your facility, send it to your recruiter or scheduling coordinator so that we know when you are working and can make sure you are always paid accurately and on time. Please: don’t be that person who never tells us their schedule, doesn’t send in their time statements, but then wonders why we didn’t pay them. We have to know when you work in order to pay you, and your time MUST be stated according to that facility’s policies. We know how important your pay is to you and we want to make sure it is always right. If we have your schedule but don’t receive your time statement, we’ll give you a courtesy call to remind you to send it in.