Agencies and contracts -- revisited

  1. 1
    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!
    Last edit by suzanne4 on Jan 15, '07
    NurseKitten likes this.
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  3. 90 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Hi Suzanne,

    I would just like to ask would it be possible that a Hospital would change the duty/work schedule of nurses from a 12-hour/day shift of seven days per pay period to just 8 hours/day of 10 days per pay period?

    We have a contract that we should work only at seven days per pay period with a 12-hour shift. If they would change our schedule this would decrease our salary because they would cut our overtime pay.

    If we have a complain for the hospital, where would we seek for help or file for a complain?

    Thank you very much...

    zathan
  5. 0
    Hey, Suzanne,

    Thanks alot for this detailed infor, do you have a sample of any contract at least so we can see what pitfalls or traps the agency may have? I'm a nurse who is looking to move to the U.S. hopefully this year with my family.
  6. 0
    Dear Suzanne,

    After carefully weighing my options, I would like to start a nurse recruiting agency in my country as there are very many nurses, doctors, etc here that want to work in the U.S. for better working conditions and for better pay. I don't like what I have encountered in that people have conned them. I would like to start a straight forward agency. Do you have any suggestions as to what I should do as far as would my agency be registered in the U.S. in order for me to source for hospitals there? I have lived in the U.S. for over 20 years and I'm familiar with labor laws, and a few immigration laws, but not when it comes to helping these nurses find jobs. If you have any sites with some information for me to read, ideas, how contracts would work between me and the nurses and hospitals I would be recruiting for, etc. It is not a good idea to charge them a fee in advance and I would not want to do that, but how would I get paid for my services? Could I ask them for some fees to cover my time and internet cyber fees? If so, how much would be a reasonable fee? If this is not the right place for these questions, I apologize in advance, please direct me. Just looking for information, I'm in the dark, can you "turn on some lights".?

    Socks :roll
  7. 0
    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
  8. 0
    Suzanne,

    You are truly a super moderator, thank you kindly for that helpful information. I'm also trained in law, so I can pretty much do contracts as I do understand contract law, etc, but I will get it looked at by a real lawyer first. I'll keep you posted as how I'm fairing on with this, hurdles, my country policies, etc. God bless, socks
  9. 0
    Please let me know if you have any more questions. :spin:
  10. 0
    Hi! I agree with Suzanne. But i'd like to add some things..sometimes the exams are really free, well not exactly free per se...it's already being paid by the Hospital that will hire the nurse. so the Nurses do not have to pay for the exams. that's why the agencies call them "free exams"...because included in the package that the Hospitals are paying the agencies are the exam fees already.

    that's why you should be careful of agencies saying that they will not be paying for the exams anymore. because they are now taking the money allotted for the exam fee of the nurse..

    and suzanne, you are so correct regarding the housing facility. i have heard of one agency who sent the nurses into their housing/apartment and they didn't even have beds. the nurses were just given foams. and just as you said, they were twelve in that one house. the housing was also far, you had to walk a far distance before you can get to a bus stop or the are where there is a public transportation. and the food would be canned goods..and the owner of the agency is even proud of the canned goods that they are providing the nurses!!

    we really should be careful in choosing the agency...
  11. 0
    Hi Suzanne,

    My niece just graduated as a nurse in Tunisia. She was an excellent student. She speaks English very good. She wants to get a job in the USA. I'm aware that the first step is to find an employer to sponsor her to work in the states. Can you please tell me of the best route to follow to find an employer that might be interested in offering her a job. Do I contact hospitals directly with her resume? Or, are there recruiting agencies that are widely known to bring international nurses here?
    I live in the DC area.

    Your help will be appreciated.

    Best Regards
  12. 0
    Quote from ninamik
    Hi! I agree with Suzanne. But i'd like to add some things..sometimes the exams are really free, well not exactly free per se...it's already being paid by the Hospital that will hire the nurse. so the Nurses do not have to pay for the exams. that's why the agencies call them "free exams"...because included in the package that the Hospitals are paying the agencies are the exam fees already.

    that's why you should be careful of agencies saying that they will not be paying for the exams anymore. because they are now taking the money allotted for the exam fee of the nurse..

    and suzanne, you are so correct regarding the housing facility. i have heard of one agency who sent the nurses into their housing/apartment and they didn't even have beds. the nurses were just given foams. and just as you said, they were twelve in that one house. the housing was also far, you had to walk a far distance before you can get to a bus stop or the are where there is a public transportation. and the food would be canned goods..and the owner of the agency is even proud of the canned goods that they are providing the nurses!!

    we really should be careful in choosing the agency...

    Very rarely are hospitals paying for the exams anymore, they usually pay a relocation bonus that would cover exams and immigration costs, if you could use the benefit like that. But what is happening is that agencies are taking the bonus that is paid and keeping it..............but as a direct payment? Extremely rare, as the nursing exam is required to be done before the petitioning process can start.

    Again, the agency is keeping the money in most cases.


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