My first time for the agency calling me and telling me the facility didn't need me for the whole day. Is this common in agencies? I think its a little unnerving as this may be my families most steady income for a while. I am considering leaving to find something a little more stable. Any experience out there?
Mar 3, '07
I have done agency nursing in IN and IL at various times in my career. Yes, it is very common to get cancelled. I used to work agency in Chicago and it was a 3 hour drive - well they had a 2 hour cancellation policy so I would get on the road and then get cancelled - yes it was frustrating.
I would never count on this income - its just a nice extra.
Mar 3, '07
Agency work is never guaranteed, that is why it pays more. Some weeks you will have more work than you know what to do with, and other weeks you may only get one 8 hour shift. The more flexible that you are, the smaller chance that you have of being cancelled.
You may wish to consider steady employment at a facility and then just supplement it with agency. Ir check out the Per Diem jobs available at a facility that you like. The agency nurses are normally cancelled before the Per Diem.
Mar 4, '07
When I first did agency in the summer, I worked a lot due to people taking vacations. Like clock work after Thanksgiving Day I started to get cancelled EVERDAY. Now mind u this WAS my full time job. I didn't work again til February. So now I finally realized to get with one or two floors and really make an impression with them so they will always ask for you. I preschedule my time with a particular floor that always had a need (ER) and I get my 36 hours and more per week. At times I'll come in and do 4 hours and go home because that's all I could give them and they would take whatever was offered because of the shortage.
Mar 9, '07
the reason I am home today is that I was cancelled today. Agency work is never guaranteed. I find it unsettling at times to be cancelled, but other days it is a pleasant reprieve. It is difficult to budget when you are unsure what income is expected. I work for two agencies and have learned that an agency that prebooks you way in advance are more likely to cancel you at last minute. And certain hospitals tend to cancel at the last minute too.
Mar 9, '07
pay everything that you can in advance
there are times when work is plentiful and you have to ry to save up during those times
just before school starts people need money for clothes/schoold supplies, between Thanksgiving/Christmas people really need money for gifts so they
don't call in and they take extra shifts if they see one opening up
try and get you a part time job that is on the same days of the week, weekends if possible, and then have your agency days for extra money
Apr 1, '07
I have been doing agency for years, I have learned to have more than one agency, a per-diem and home care back-up. I also save what I can and pay my bills as get paid. Every check pays a bill. You also need to be flexible. Sometimes if you get into one facilitie and they like you. they will ask for you and cancel you last. Also if you are cancelled,call your other agencies for last minute calls. No calls, no shows or last minute call outs.
Apr 1, '07
It is always best to work with a minimum of two agencies, particularly if you are relying on this full time. Some have even managed to successfully juggle as many as four agencies. I agree with the poster that stated it is better to have a scheduled shift or part time situation with a permanent employer, and just rely on your agency work for the extras. That way you can depend on a minimum amount of work each week or pay period. It is quite nerve wracking to sit around waiting to be called or to call in to find out if work is available, even if you are on good terms with four agencies. Good luck.
Apr 1, '07
yes it is the nature of the beast.... if they can find one of there own employees to take the shift you are scheduled for they will to save that money...once you get in with a facility and they like you .. they will call an personally ask for you to work or i always coordinate my schedule with the facility and then let them call it in to my agency..i do my own scheduling cause if i wait around for the agency to figure out what they are doing...i would start to get hungry...
Apr 3, '07
I work thru 2 local nursing agencies. One, I am contracted with and the other, I work here and there. This Summer I will be working strictly per diem shifts. I need 2 shifts/week to break even. If the weather down here in Lauderdale gets too bad, I will do plan B and do a Travel contract out of State. I am hopeful that I can just pick my days and get 2-3/week but always have a back up Plan.
May 9, '07
I work for 2 agencies - One of them, Favorite Staffing, is known to "ghost book". They'll tell you that you're booked for work somewhere, when in fact they're just making sure you are available, then you get cancelled. That's why they have a strict policy not to discuss your schedule with clients and you have to call 2 hrs before your shift to make sure you're not cancelled. No other agency I know of does that and they are all aware of Favorite's practices. Beware!
May 10, '07
I too used to be 3 hours away from Chicago with that 2 hour call off window. I would be one hour into the trip and the facilities almost always would call me off. Get this, if they call you off to late, they are supposed to pay you for the full shift. I quickly learned that they would call me off for the first four hours, then actually call me off 2 hours before the last eight hours of the shift started, therefore not having to pay me for the full shift, only having to pay for the first four hours, and might I add that I had already arrived in Chicago when I could have stayed home.
May 10, '07
Agency work to supplement staffing is a 50-50 shot. However, home care thru an agency is usually very steady; these folks need, love and appreciate their nurses... and you only have 1 patient at a time!!!