Agency Nurses

  1. I am the owner of an agency. I am also a nurse who is proud of my profession. I am striving toward providing a professional atmosphere for my fellow nurses while offering the quality staff I would be proud to work beside had I remained in the hospital setting. The staffing industry has a negative connotation when providing "professional" nurses to the facilities that are in dire need of staff. I feel at times I am fighting an uphill battle. The nurses that work for me are quality yet they are lumped in with those who are not. Although we are lucky that the nurses who fall into the "non" quality field are few and far between, it takes only one bad experience to lump all of us together.

    I am constantly looking for feedback from my fellow professionals. The staffing industry does not have to be an enemy. I am looking for nurses that are willing to share some of their insight and professional experiences with me in regard to working with agency nurses in their unit or facility.


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    Arlene
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   RNPD
    Most of the agency nurses I have worked with are great. They have years of experience in so many different areas. Usually they are very competant nurses. The best ones are those that return often enough to function independently-they know the routine, where things are kept, etc. If your nurses care, work hard, and are competent, I welcome them with open arms-we need the help!

    Please make sure that you thoroughly investigate their backround, make sure their credentials are in order, they have a PROPERLY documented physical with all necessary tests (PPD etc.), and that they pass a med test. Please don't skip or gloss over any of these important areas. I once worked for an agency that gave me the impression when i signed on that all they cared about was that i was a breathing RN-and I wondered how they checked anything so quickly.

    My only request to you-PLEASE DON'T PROVIDE SCABS!
  4. by   purplemania
    Our hospital guarantees hours/pay for the agency nurses per their contract. I do not have that same privilege. It is possible that I could be cut while the agency nurse is allowed to work. While this is not the agency nurses "fault", it is hard not to have some animosity. Of the agency nurses with whom I have worked only one was a problem (he did drugs and stole narcotics). But that can happen with the regular staff.
  5. by   ArleneNC99
    Janeen Smith
    Thank you for your reply. I work very hard at sending only professionals to the hospitals and facilities I staff. I do some contracting for guaranteed shifts and I understand what you mean. It is unfair to those who are loyal to the hospital they work for to lose a shift to an agency nurse. I wish I had an answer to the problem. My nurses for whatever reason work as supplemental staff nurses. They too count on their shifts to pay bills. I see both sides to the story.......there is no easy solution.

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    Arlene
  6. by   ArleneNC99
    RNPD

    Thank you for your reply. I understand exactly what you mean about some agencies. We are very careful to qualify our nurses, making sure they are competent and can function independently. I try very hard to orient my nurses to a manageable number of facilities so that they do know the routine. If possible we contract for guaranteed shifts to provide continuity for the facility and our staffing associates. All of our nurses are processed according to JCAHO regulations. As a nurse myself, I would not want to have to depend on a nurse who did not act in a professional manner by working hard and independently side by side the facility staff. We readily seek feedback through evaluations of our nurse associates on a regular basis. A problem occurs at times when staff nurses see the agency nurse as a "dumping" ground for all the duties (read as chores) that are distasteful. If we are all sensitive to why we are in a nursing shortage and what has prompted many nurses to join agencies, we may be able to avoid hard feelings and animosity. We nurses are all representing the same profession. As you said, agency nurses are "usually very competent nurses". I endeavor to treat the nurses that work for my agency as the professionals they are.

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    Arlene

    [This message has been edited by ArleneNC99 (edited March 13, 2001).]

    [This message has been edited by ArleneNC99 (edited March 13, 2001).]
  7. by   mustangsheba
    I are an agency nurse! I am the one sent home when the census drops. I don't like it but I would never expect regular staff to be the first to lose work time. I have worked in areas where the agency nurse is dumped on and in others where consideration is given to our unfamiliarity with the facility. It's great when I've worked an area often enough to not have to ask questions about every little thing i.e., where are the bedpans, dressings, insulin, bathrooms, syringes, etc., how do I get in the Pyxis, get in the room where the Pyxis is, how and where do I chart (computer? chart? both?), do I call the primary MD or are there in-house residents. I love it when I return to a place and they welcome me back. I refuse to return to areas that are abusive. There have been only a few of those. My agency listens to me. They don't book me anywhere that I request not to return. The best staffers are those that watch how you're being scheduled - no back to back shifts, adequate number of days off. In other words, take care of your staff.
  8. by   JennieBSN
    I've never had a problem with agency nurses at all. They are usually quite competent, and work very hard. As far as the staffing thing goes, mustangsheba hit it right...my hospital will cut the agency staff first.
  9. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    Arlene..contact me directly please via my email address and we can discuss this issue at length. My email and website are listed under my profile. This is a very serious issue for any supplemental nurse, but is very manageable. I look forward to hearing from you.

    regards
    chas

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