Working for more than one agency

  1. I'm currently working as an agency nurse and like to limit my schedule to 3 - 4 days per week, preferring to have the extra time-off over the extra money I could be making working full-time. My current scheduling is via "block-time"..working the same days/shift each week, and have been doing that for about 1-1/2 years with the same agency. Now I'm seeing alot of posts recommending signing on with more than one agency when things get slow and cancellations frequent with a facility, and while this has certainly happened to me, I haven't yet made the decision to sign on with more than one company because I'm unsure of how that would work out in my particular situation. Do different agencies frown on a nurse already working at one company turn around and sign on with them as well? Or do you just sign up with a particular agency and not disclose the fact that you are already working for a different agency at the same time? (Thinking about competition issues with that question). Also, what do you do if both agencies want you on the same days? What if one cancels at the last minute...can you then call the second agency and see what they have available? I'm just not sure how it works when more than one agency is involved.

    Also, on a related note, I am starting to investigate the idea of doing travel nursing part for of the year and retaining my local agency position for the remainder of the year. Has anyone else done this and have any thoughts or suggestions?
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   nightingale
    cccladyrn: I am always clear to my agencies of my intentions. I usually tell them before they hear it from someone else of plans that I have say, 2-3 weeks out.

    I have heard, and it appears to be sometimes true, that per diem agencies will book their fulll-time employees best and keep them at full time. Their per diem staff sort of "fend for themselves".

    YOU seem to have it worked out nicely with blockbooking and that helps tremendously. Keep an updated record of your contacts, charge nurses who will block book you, and keep in touch with them from time to time.

    Travel Nursing is great. Try to get into a facility that is "travel friendly" and uses travelers frequently. If you have a good agency they will tell you ALL that you want to know.

    For researching travel companies, I often look at the www.delphiforums.com to lurk on the posters sight for travel and therapists BB. YOu will find dialogue there and some on our BB.

    Interview, interview, interview... various travel companies and recruiters.... Keep an accurate record and quote what they promise and get a signature on it.

    YOU are the commodity.... be careful what you sign and what is NOT in writing you will NOT get....

    Let us know how you are doing and ... HAVE FUN! Yes, Nursing IS FUN!
  4. by   BadBird
    I work with 2 agencies, I let the second agency know that I work for the first hospital at certain hospitals so I won't work for them at those hospitals, I let them know which hospitals I will work for them at, it works out just fine for me. I use the second agency as a back up.
  5. by   graysonret
    Same here. I just signed on with a second agency. They know I work with another agency too. I need another one to fill in the blank shifts. Besides, a second agency may get me into places, the first one can't, because of contract. Being a full time agency nurse, hence self-employed, it's good to get my name out more. My first choice, though, will go to the first agency. I've had a great working relationship with them for years.
  6. by   LadyNASDAQ
    What I would think would be the best of all worlds is to do local agency contracts during the seasonal time and travel nursing the other part of the time with a break in the middle if you will.


    I have been doing travel nursing almost 3 years now and when my contract is up, I am thinking of doing some agency that's local but having the Holidays off and after Jan 1st, a 13 week contract as local agency, then another 26 week contract as a Travel Nurse again.

    It's hard to decide but vow to have the Holidays off from here on in.
  7. by   luv2nurseinER
    If you haven't had a problem, then I wouldn't confuse the issue with another agency. I work for an agency and am per diem with an IHR (in house registry) If I do get cancelled, I know the hospital can always use the help. I traveled for three years and worked for favorite nurses, so I just worked at the local office if there was one and when I spent time at home I could just step back in and pick up shifts at home. It worked out great for everyone. Good luck in your adventures!
  8. by   Shell7280
    I worked for one agency but when they started cancelling me alot, I signed on with two more agencies. The first pays the least, but I love the hospital they staff me at the most. But if they cancel me, then I call one of the other two agencies for fill in shifts. One of them doesn't take out taxes, so it's the last resort. They all know I work for more than one agency too. Only one of them seems to have a problem with it, but I told them "I will work for whoever gives me shifts, I can't afford to just NOT work because you don't ahve anything."
  9. by   nightingale
    And don't all Agencies have a pool of Nurses? It should be okay with them that we have several Agencies.
    Last edit by nightingale on Sep 14, '03
  10. by   LadyNASDAQ
    I am a Travel Nurse and also an agency Nurse, too. I am registered with many companies and frankly, you will work a lot more with more than one company, I promise you.

    I am in South Florida where it is seasonal. I wanted to work in Calif. but they are striking again and I want none of this walking over picket lines stuff.

    What to do? For me, I should be traveling in the Spring/Summer when it slows down and stay in sunny Fl. when it gets cool. I can work agency with benefits in Florida and travel with benefits so I will always have health insurance and enjoy my life and save for my retirement as well.

    No one but you should care where and for whom you should work for. No one but you owes on your bills.

    Take care of you and everything else falls into place. It works best this way.
  11. by   eddy
    If it aint broke don't fix it. Don't complicate things if not needed. A lot of facilities get annoyed when nurses are coming through several agencies to their facility. Harder to keep track or who to call I guess???

    But if you are not getting the hours you need, go for it. Sometimes it's just a matter of shifting business.

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