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What does "PRN" stand for in nursing?

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Quick Answer

Within the field of nursing, "PRN" stands for "pro re nata," a Latin term, which translated loosely means "as needed." According to About.com, health care employers use this term to describe fill-in, part-time, contract and short-term work by nurses and other health professionals.

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PRN nurses work within different facilities, with some assignments lasting weeks and others one day at a time. The need arises based on different factors, such as rising patient intake and nurses out on leave. Versatility is a must for PRN nurses, as they can be working not only in different facilities, but also under different policies, with different colleagues and performing different duties. PRN nurses are generally required by hospitals and staffing agencies to be a registered nurse (RN).

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