Better pay? Flexible hours?

  1. Is it true that agency nurses recieve better pay and have better hours? I'm totally ignorant when it comes to nursing, haven't started school yet, just basically trying to find out which direction I'd like to go after I get my LPN license. An individual that I just met claims that she makes $10 an hour with an agency, and she is a CNA. I was astonished, that's what the LPN's start out here at this small town hospital! Thanks for any info!
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   BadBird
    Yes it is true, you double your salary from regular staff and you pick where and when you will work. With the shortages I don't get cancelled, many times the hospitals put agency on their schedules as we are dependable sometimes more than their own staff, if we don't work, we don't get paid. Another perk is that if you don't want to work weekends or holidays you don't have to, children in school with concerts, ballgames, etc.. you just take that day off or work another shift. Agency allows for a lot of freedom in nursing and you can have a life again. Most agencies want at least 1 year of experience before working for them and you have to keep your ACLS, PALS, etc.. on your own.
  4. by   nightingale
    CNAs who work agency (when I worked in NM) made $ 12 an hour. I have also heard of "traveler" CNAs and medtechs (who earn more) are in demand for travelers compensation and better pay.

    Much better pay... control of your schedule... I can not see me doing anything else!

    B.
  5. by   nurs2bhopefully
    Wow- the hospital scene is getting dimmer and dimmer in my mind! Why in the world would one NOT want to work for an agency? Sounds great, which I'm sure any job has it's querks. Thanks for both of your replies.
  6. by   midwestRN
    I don't work for an agency because I like knowing the people I work with and where everything is, the doctors and the hospitals particular P&P. Agency people move around a lot and sometimes drive a little further. But the money is sure enticing.
  7. by   Brownms46
    Some people don't work agency...because working agency isn't for everyone. Many people don't have the desire or sometimes the ability to be plopped into different surrounding, and jump in, and go. In working agency ...you have to be very flexible...and that just isn't everyone's style. Some people are just very chosey about where they like to work., and this makes it difficult for them to do agency.

    There are a lot of people I know who tired working agency, and found it wasn't their cup of tea. Although they liked the money, and the ability to say when. They just didn't like being placed in strange surroundings...day in and day out. They didn't like not knowing for sure, they were going to work x amount of days. Or they found they were required to be "experts" in nursing...just because they worked agency. Working with strangers on a regular basis, and always having to prove yourself, doesn't make working agency attractive to some. I also get tired at times, of being treated as if I was totally didn't have a clue...just because I was new, and didn't know the policies of a certain hospital. Too many times people equate "NEW' to the unit, as being "NEW" to nursing!

    JMHO on why some don't consider working agency an alternative to being on staff.
  8. by   nurs2bhopefully
    Thanks for the info. I guess it's really depending on the individual huh? I haven't even began school yet, so I have plenty of time to learn more about each route and decide which is best for me, but it's always good to hear both sides, the positive and the negative. Helps me feel better prepared and gives an idea of what to expect.
  9. by   sjoe
    And some of us don't like to have two different sets of bosses.
  10. by   Cindy_A
    Nurs2be,
    I used to work agency as an LPN, am considering going back just 1 day per week for the extra money. Remember most places need 1 year of previous experience before they will hire you. If they don't ...WATCH OUT! The year of experience is very helpful. I enjoyed agency, for all the aboove reasons. Just my $.02.
  11. by   Brownms46
    The facility I work in...is not my boss...in the true sense of the word. The facility is the "client", and nothing more in my view. I cater to the "client"...but they have no power over me, except in their facility, for the duties that I have specified I will do, and for nothing more. If there is a problem...they have no ability to fire me from the agency, and at times when there has been a problem..the agency has taken my side.

    Just as in any business...in order to keep a client happy, you will work to apease them. I treat every facility I go to...as a client. Every time I get my time sheet signed, I ask for feedback on my job performance. Just as many other businesses do, in order to make sure you're delivering quality service. I have yet to be told of any problems, and this helps keep down any negative feedback, from coming up after the fact.

    nurs2bhopefully..it is good that you're looking down the road, at your possible opportunities. But you have a long time to think about this...and many things could, and probably will change by the time you're ready to think about going agency.

    I have been agency for 21yrs now, and much has changed since I started, and it continues to change daily. Agency nursing maybe a completley different animal by the time you are ready to try it... When you finish school...learn all you can..during your first year as a nurse. Then ask yourself at the end of that year...are you comfortable with all your skills! Would you be comfortable wallking into a facility where you're the most experienced person on the unit??? Don't think this won't happen...because it has!

    Example: I worked in a hospital where the Charge Nurse on the unit was a nurse of two years, but who had not been working as a nurse for 3yrs! The only other nurse on that unit, and in that hospital was a new grad RN...with NO experience! Had a pt. code, and neither of them knew what to do, or even knew how to start an IV!

    So if after the end of one year...you don't feel comfortable in walking into such a situation...wait, and get more experience, before you try agency.
  12. by   Brownms46
    Just one more bit of information. At the present time Agency LPNs depending on the area, and the facility, can make up to $35/hr or more. For a long time...there wasn't much progress as far as rates were concerned. But recently...the rates have been going up steadily! I wouldn't even want to guess where they will be in the next couple of years.
  13. by   BadBird
    I just wanted to comment on being bounced from unit to unit, I generally work in the same unit for all my shifts, I know the doctors and where everything is so I feel right at home there, make friends with regular staff too. You don't have to be bounced and with the shortages when the nurse manager observe you and find out you know your stuff the generally ask for you which is why I stay put in 1 unit.
  14. by   RN987654321
    Been doing agency full time for over 5 yrs now---always get to work since I am cross trained.
    Plus there is no dealing with the politics/backstabbing. I can make my schedule around MY life and not have to worry if too many people will ask off for the days I want off----
    I can make up to 32/hr during the week and 34//hr on the weekend. I do offshifts so hospitals always need help.
    Yeah, I may have to move from floor to floor each week, but the pro outweighs the cons!!!

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