HI all. I am a fairly new RN (less than 2yrs) and have worked in psych for short time and have been in dermatology the biggest part of the time. I had never really thought about agency nursing and never knew anyone who has done it. Could any of you who do agency nursing tell me about it. Is it all travel or can you just work in your area? How much experience is required? I've that new grads are sometimes accepted into this, is this true? I have huge issues with a facility controlling my life and this sounds like a way to have control of your own life and career. ANY INFO APPRECIATED. THANKS ALL.
Feb 16, '03
l'm a new graduate who got on with an agency, (most required 1 year experience).
l did night shift at a hospital, it was ok, but the stress of not knowing what l'm doing is making it hard, and l'm constantly worried about doing day shift because of my inexperience.
Also there is not much work with them, l have been with them for 3 months and have only done one shift.
l ended up finding another job on a casual / part time basis, and l've already done three shifts and l only started less than a week ago.
With agency you very rarely know in advance when you are working, l got a phone call at 5pm to start work at 9pm and finish at 7:30am which meant getting no sleep before hand.
You are probably better off ringing the places you want to work and go on their casual bank.
Feb 20, '03
I would suggest getting some "facility experience" first. For one reason, as an agency nurse you need to be BETTER than the average nurse. You will go to places you are unfamiliar with and be expected to jump right in. Jumping right in without some good experience under your belt is a BAD idea. Another reason, you still need to find out what kind of nursing you like and are comfortable with. Agency is not the way to do that. And don't forget, as a new nurse, you will not be as in demand. The agency will likely only call you for last minute stuff they can't fill with someone else. This means less work and more last minute stuff. Also, if you don't perform up to snuff, you'll get slapped with a DNR. DNR's can last for a long time or they can go away like the seasons. However, it's not a good idea to risk getting black balled from facilities because you stepped into the agency ring too early.
Once you have some good facility experience, I highly recommend you check out agency. Until then, do yourself a favor and get a staff job for a bit. Then once you do go agency, you will be confident in your skills and perform at a level where facilities will ask for you specifically.... and that's really the name of the game.
Best of Luck!