I am not against agencies in general, but only the ones that take advantage of nurses.
Things to consider when going the route of using an agency:
1. There is absolutely no such thing as free exams, free green card, or free plane fare and expenses paid. It will come from your paycheck.
2. Agencies can be paid in one of several ways: 100% by the hiring facility if they direct place you, by the facility as well as the nurse, or by charging the nurse a significant fee before they leave their country such as India, in addition to getting paid by the facility. In India, they call it a bond, but I have failed to see one get that bond returned when they complete their assignment. Or by keelping the nurse as their employee and getting the billing rate from the facility.
3. Make sure that you have taken the NCLEX exam before you arrive in the US, or you may find that you will not get paid until you pass that exam. In many contracts, look closely, it states that you will be paid as a CNA until you pass that exam, and many agencies will not even submit documentation to the BON until you arrive. This also adds months onto your contract, as it states "work as an RN."
4. If living arrangements are made for housing in the beginning, have it specified as to what it will be in writing. We have seen 10 people placed in a studio apt in NY and without heat in the winter; or eight women in a four bedroom apt with only one shower, and a small kitchen. Please be very careful with this.
5. If it is not in writing, it does not exist. A verbal condition from a recruiter does not hold water in a court of law, it must be in writing.
6. If an agency tells you that you need to write the CGFNS exam to work in the US, run from them. That has not been factual in several years. The CGFNS exam is only required in five states currently. Howver, if you live on a continent where the exam is not given, and too costly to travel that is another story....
Please be very careful before you sign anything, much easier to have it checked out before
you sign. It is a legal binding contract, inlcuding the cancellation clause that some have added to go into effect even before you take the NCLEX exam. Also be cautious of large cancellation fees, $8,000 to $10,000 could be considered reasonable, but $25,000 and above is crazy. A guarantor also should not be required to sign your contract.
Always be an informed consumer!
Each contract is different, if the item is not spelled out in it, then it does not exsit.
Many countries actually require recruiter licenses and a bond paid. Hospitals to not pay until the nurse begins work, and that means has gone thru the immigration process as well as getting a license.
Last edit by suzanne4 on Jan 16, '07