Looking for Work

  1. Well I'm out of the navy and looking for work. I have 10 yrs in nursing, and 6 in l&d. The agency I went to yesterday was not a + experiance. I called before I went and was told what paperwork to bring, ect. When I arrived I noticed a sign taped to the wall telling the nurses they were not going to get paid for the next two weeks, due to an upgrade in the computer system. I was taken to a room and asked to have a seat. Then I was given a thick folder of paperwork and told I had to take a test. This test was on med-surg. I was not their to for a job in med-surg. They knew that I work in L&D because I told them this twice before. They said there was no test for L&D. I felt this agency gave me no respect as to my preference for work. I felt like they were trying to get me into something I did not want. As far as the nurses not getting paid, well why didn't this agency plan ahead.

    Needless to say I left, and I was angry. I have experianced alot of negative situations in the civilian side of nursing.

    I don't want to work as nurse any longer. I clearly understand why there is a shortage of nurses.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   nightingale
    NavyRN:

    Try a national agency and another one that seems to have it together..... I worked with NurseFinders and Maxims at first... I almost always have a least two agencies on the shelf...

    Do not get discouraged. This is not the norm. There are tons of oppourtunites for you in L & D.... keep knocking on doors.. Agency is the way to go... I am in a bit of a rush right now... if I / we can help further.. please keep in touch!

    B.
  4. by   135ctv
    I have looked into and tried several agencies over the past year. I would not work with the agency you visited.

    There are good and bad agencies. There are a few out there who will value your experience, but it will take some time to find them. I have found that many of the staffing coordinators are entry-level and have no background in nursing -- they won't value your experience because they don't fully understand it.

    It will take some time to find a good agency. I phone-screened several agencies before narrowing down the list to the ones I wanted to visit. Try to speak with the director of nursing for the agency and not a staffing coordinator/manager if at all possible. Staffing people are many times concerned with collecting a large list of bodies they can call on when need to -- they will tell you anything to get you signed.

    I do recommend signing with more than one agency, you will get more work that way. If you are not happy with one agency, you can decline work from that agency and will still have one or two others to place you.

    Every agency I have been to has had a test. It's part of the application process to make sure that the applicant has a given level of skills. I have only seen med/surg and long-term care tests at the agencies I have applied. The med/surg tests I took covered basic skills, I don't think that it would be feasible for an agency to have a separate test for each specialty.

    You may want to also look into doing PRN work at different facilities, rather than going through an agency.

    As I said, it will take some time to find a good agency. Large, national agencies tend to do more of a volume business and sometimes have more positions available than smaller, privately-owned agencies. But I have found the larger agencies to be more impersonal -- they don't recognize or value your specific experience as much as some of the smaller agencies would. Smaller agencies may do less of a volume business, but they may take the time to find positions that are a better match for your skill set. This is only a generalization, there are good and bad national agencies and good and bad small agencies.

    Good luck!
  5. by   Brownms46
    Don't give up ..please. There are many agencies out there that do have seperate skills list for all speicalties. I would second all that was said previously as to signing on which SEVERAL agencies. I am listed with a lot of agencies, as each may have contracts with different hospitals that the others don't go to, or a specific agency may get more calls from certain hospitals, that others don't.

    EXPECT to be presented with reams of paperwork. Immuniaztions records, ACLS/BCLS/PALS/ NALS certs if you have them, at least three references, Background check, physical(for some), PPD/CXR, drug screen, etc.

    I also concur with the above suggestions as to the staffers..totally true. Do your homework and you will be rewarded, not only with better pay, but flexibility with more control over your time.

    Coming into the civilian workforce is a big change many times and I can relate. It was difficult for me to make the change, and after only a few months out of the military I found myself ready to return. There are still times I long for the good ole military days, but I wouldn't change some of the experiences I have had working agency.

    Give it a few more tries before you walk away.

    Best wishes in whatever you decide
  6. by   live4today
    So sorry that you had that "bad first agency experience", Navy RN.
    To prevent wasting your time in the future, just call the different agencies listed in the yellow pages and ask them if they have anything for L&D nurses and if they expect all nurses, regardless of specialty, to take a general med/surg exam before hire, or do they have an exam for specialty nurses since that is the only place you desire to continue working. Also, many hospitals have perdiem pools that pay well. Have you checked into those? Since you are prior military, have you considered working as a Civilian nurse in a military hospital or clinic? I use to work as a Civilian nurse in military hospitals for so long that it was often tough on me going back to work for civilian hospitals. There is often a 180 degree difference between the two. It does take some getting use to. Also, some agencies contract nurses to work in military hospitals since this is a "comfort zone" that you know about already. Just tossing some suggestions your way. Best of everything to you in whatever you decide.

    BTW, my middle daughter is prior Navy, and is now working as a civilian LPN at a Texas hospital. She said the differences between working civilian and military are soooo different, but interesting. She is working Newborn Nursery, but will be cross-trained to Postpartum, Mother/Baby, Ante-partum, and eventually L&D.
  7. by   4XNURSE
    NavyRN,

    I want to reinforce what's already been stated. Keep looking.

    I've been with the same company now for over 10 years. I went to work for at least 4 prior to signing up with the agency I am with now. I've had paychecks bounce from previous companies. I've had really poor treatment by office staff, at previous companies. They are not all the same!

    After 9 years with my current company, In September of 2000 I had the oppertunity to start a department of education for the company, and now we not only have paychecks every week (that don't bounce) but the company provides a decent benefits package, and my department provides CEUs for the nurses.

    You can still find a place to practice your chosen profession the way you want to practice.
  8. by   nightingale
    NavyRN:

    I was too tired to go into much detail the other day but the other posters have done so. Do not get discouraged.

    I always have at least 2 agencies. I "generallly" use one national agency and one more "creative" more willing to be flexible and spill the beans with me as to what is going on in the community of facilities. That way I can predict what I need to do and stretch myself accordingly.

    The better agencies do have specialty tests. L & D is very much in demand and so you are. Do not sell yourself short but be willing to be flexible and you will find your nitch. Often you can find a place to "block book" with if you would rather not sign a "contract" of commitment time.

    Hang in there and let us know how we can help you.

    Bonnie

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