About a year ago, the largest hospital alliance (6 hospitals) in my area started a nursing agency. Nurses with other agencies were told they'd just have to switch to the hospital owned agency because it was the only one they would work with. I had to switch.
Pay rate was the same, and it looked great on paper- everyone wins, right? Nurses got agency rate and hospitals saved money bypassing the middle man.
The past 2 times I've been called in to work, I was sent to horrible floors that seemed to be a "dumping area" for difficult patients. Nurses there seemed near tears. When I complained to my agency, saying I want only telemetry, I was told the new policy is that everyone is required to float.
Since jobs with other agencies have now dried up, I'm wondering when the pay cuts will start.
Has this kind of thing happened in any other areas?
Jul 15, '02
Good question. There seems to be a trend for this in the Denver / Northern Colorado area. I have seen it with Bannar HealthCare; they handle Greeley Hospital and some others in Northern Colorado.
Recently, HCA, has taken over as the main provider of Agency Staff for the Denver hospitals under the HCA unbrella. As you can imagine, Denver has many large hospitals so competion is spread out; I like that. What is different (from the sounds of the hospital you sppek of) is that the Agency, All About Staffing, also utilizes other contracted agencies.
So far so good with not feeling like I am dumped upon specifically as an agency nurse. I do float though and am expected to do so. That has been true with all of my other agency assignments that I do per diem. Personally, I like flatoing as long as I feel competent and qualified. I have refused assignments before I acept report and usually before I go to the floor (no I am NOT a L & D Nurse).
What one of my agencies told me is if you are too limited with what you will do that they simply do not use you. It is easier to have a nurse who is flexible when they start using a preference. Some facilities will allow "block booking" where you can get assigned to a specific floor.
I hope this helps you.
Hopefully, we will hear from some others who can share what is going on in their area.
Aug 1, '02
My health system also owns its own agency. But due to the shortage they still have to use nurses from other agencies. Also, as we leave the hospital and go to work for agencies, we are opting for an outside agency or both. Te other agencies allow you to restrict where you will work within the hospital, one of the reasons why so many staff nurses are leaving the bedside. I am signing up with an agency very soon. Will keep my regualr hospital job for the time being, but I can easily see me dumping that horrible place in the not to distant future.
Aug 1, '02
One of the reasons I work agency AND I have more then one agency, currently I have three I am working with.
Aug 4, '02
I work for a hospital that also has it's own agency but I haven't been cancelled due to the shortage. I am working with only 1 agency now but plan on signing with another soon.
Aug 22, '02
We, too,have a local hospital owned agency--one that tried very hard in the beginning to deny that they were associated with the
They pulled all kind of stunts to get outside agency nurses to switch over to the inhouse agency...promised them all the OT they could do, referral bonuses for getting other nurses to sign on... all promises that were revoked once the nurses signed on. The catch is/was, too, that once yu signed up for this inhouse
agency, you could not go back to your old agency and return to that hospital chain. You have to wait like 6 months or a year.
Those of us that have known this hospital chain for a long time, knew better than to sign up with the inhouse place!! They will cancel their own inhouse agency people once they are into OT and bring in an outside agency nurse!!
Not worth it--I would rather sign up with 2 or 3 outside agencies than work for that inhouse one!
Sep 11, '04
I have worked with a hospital owned agency in Pittsburgh and they are TERRIBLE! They make all sorts of promises and never keep them including withholding pay and incentives until they feel like paying them.
Also, don't believe that you'll get cancelled last. They don't back that up worth anything.
Agency is hit or miss and I'm beginning to think that hospitals are cancelling in order to force nurses back into the fold.
For me, I'll find other employment before I go back under the yolk of working for a hospital. 32 yrs of indentured servitude is enough!:angryfire
Sep 24, '04
KC is also changing the way agency has always worked. Large corporation bought numerous hospitals in the area. Agencies have to go through their agency for work. Jumping lots of hoops. Reduced from many agencies, down to maybe 20 something. Now they are going to reduce again to using only 8 or 9.
Changes in medicine admin. & nursing don't ever seem to make things better, do they?? remember primary nursing??? remember DRGs and the wipe out of thousands of local, community hospitals???
Someone has been getting very very rich with all of these changes. and it isn't nurses!!
Last edit by mscsrjhm on Sep 24, '04
Sep 25, '04
I don't like monopolies and it seems this is what is going on here. Agree once they have you under their thumb the rules can start changing fast. I would not work for AAS exclusively myself, (need a break from the system after years with HCA) altho I know some agency nurses who feel they are paid and treated well as travelers within AAS/HCA.
If agency nurses stood up for their rights more and held facilities to the contracted shift and didn't just blindly float/do whatever the hospital wants, we would have more power. I rarely float outside critical care as agency and refuse to be bullied into it. I contracted for an ICU shift and I can leave if they try to pull a 'bait and switch' (and I have). We all have to draw our own lines with this stuff, IMO.