agency nursing

  1. I was thinking about working as a agency nurse and working in different facilities such as nursing homes and rehab hosptals. I heard that the pay is good. I was wondering if someone could give me the pros and cons of agency nursing.
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   ecb
    I am a nursing supervisor and a floor nurse, and to tel if you cn be a good agency nurse think on this, can you pick up a wholly new assignment every day? can you get from point A to point B ON TIME, 99% of the time? Are you willing to get the heavyest assignment every day you work? Do you REALLY need benefits? R U going to be able to keep up the pace and NOT cut corners in a $#&!*%# assignmentso as to maintain the residents at the best possible level of care, so as not to be accused of being a contributing factor in their decline? Can you get out on short notice? Can you be invested in 8, 10, 12, 16 hour incraments?

    I do not think I could, so I do not do agency work, but the $$ is tempting (untill I hear what they get payed for NON ICU jobs)

    Good luck
    and it is not hopeless, I have met some of the BEST nurses working in agenies, FAB assessment skils, fresh outlooks, good ideas, flexable, caring, competant. But not all are like that

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    *** May we all have the serenity to accept what we cannot change, and the determination to change what we cannot accept. ***
  4. by   PathFinder
    Agency Nursing can be great!
    I did it for two years when I was new to my current city. It enabled me to learn virtually all the local healthcare settings and figure out which ones I preferred.

    The Supervisor who wrote earlier is correct. Finding your way (regardless of weather) and being on time are big components of your credibility as an agency nurse. Here are some others:
    *Never accept work you don't know how to perform -- you endanger yourself and your patient.
    *Be clear with the assignment-maker on your qualifications and credentials.
    *Tell the agency and the supervisor at the facility of any difficulties you encounter, especially if they would discourage you from returning (they can't fix what they don't know about!).
    *Be yourself, you're not "one of them" so don't be sad if you're not welcomed as "one to them". Be you, be your best, earn "their" respect and they will look forward to having you come to "their" unit again!
    *Stay current. Especially in agency nursing this is YOUR job, not your employer's.
    *Do more. Have a minute? Help a colleague. Got a spare dollar? Buy the nurse who helped you a soda. Not in a rush to go home? Walk someone nice (the unit secretary?) out to the parking lot. WIN friends in the facilities you visit!

    Agency nursing can be a marvelous way to add some variety to your nursing practice -- mostly, your success in this field depends on YOU!
  5. by   CANRN
    Everyone of the above posts gives very good advice! I am an agency RN. After working full-time, I became 'bored' for the lack of a better term. What I have found in Agency nursing is variety! I love it! Each assignment I learn something and walk away from each one with something new. I love 'helping' other nurses by lightening their work load. An added benefit is being able to PICK the hours I want to work, the day I want to work and the place I want to work. The flexibility is wonderful. No longer do I have to tell my daughter I can not come to her sporting event or other school function she is in because I am scheduled to work. I PICK the days! This has greatly decreased my stress level and GUILT I felt as a working mother.


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    Cindy Nye RN
    http://www.geocities.com/Wellesley/3924 Cynthia's Spot On The Universe
    http://members.xoom.com/CANRN97 Healthy Solutions
    http://www.geocities.com/Wellesley/3924/webnurse.html Nurses On The Web
  6. by   monica f
    I am a agency nurse and I do not like it very much. It is true, the money is good and very tempting, BUT you have to give a lot in return. First off, generally you don't have insurance. If your spouse has good insurance this is not a big deal. Second, you never have a set schedule. Sure you can tell the agency when you want to work, but what if they don't have any cases for you? I was hired and my agency said "we can staff you 40 hours a week." This is true, sometimes. When the census is low and facilities are staffed, you don't get called out. I personally didn't like the calls at all hours asking can you be at work in 15 minutes. This is espically frustrating if you have already planned something. Lastly, I have learned that sometimes if you are an agency nurse, you are the low man on the totom pole in facilities. In other words you get the patients that no one wants and sometimes staff nurses can be a little harsh toward you.

    If you have a lot of toleration towards other people, don't need benifits, and are willing to work on short notice, you might give it a try. You never know you just might like it. Agency nursing is something that some people like and some just don't.

    Best of luck!
  7. by   BusinessNurseLinda
    I'm a RN with a hospital background of cardiac and psych, and then LNC, auditing, and medical fraud investigation, and I had once considered agency nursing, as the pay is often DOUBLE what staffers make. I invited four agency nurse friends to lunch and picked their brains. For some of the same reasons listed above, I decided against going "agency" and now have my own home/internet based business. Every situation AND every individual is different. Closely weigh your pros and cons and you'll know what to do! I wish you the best of luck!! Linda

    [This message has been edited by bshort (edited February 23, 2000).]
  8. by   Misty Ellis
    I am going back to school to get my BSN and I work for an agency. I love being able to set my own hours and I make almost twice as much than I do working for the hospital!!!

    I was extremely worried about being able to just walk in and work in a facility I didn't know especially since I only had 4 months exp. as a nurse but it was the best move I have ever made.

    Being agency makes you learn what the basic info is....(do they need crushed pills; last BM; LOC; catheter; wounds;etc) Of course the basics change a little from place to place but you will get a routine you can take anywhere.

    The down side is that if nobody needs you then you don't work. That's why I have the hospital as a back up!! I am flex at the hospital so I can work either I say when and where I will work. I like having control of my life.
  9. by   cpnurse13
    Originally posted by rusty:
    I was thinking about working as a agency nurse and working in different facilities such as nursing homes and rehab hosptals. I heard that the pay is good. I was wondering if someone could give me the pros and cons of agency nursing.

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