Agency nursing vs full time jobs; pros & cons

  1. I jumped into agency nursing two years ago because I was fed up with the politics of fulltime employment. Inflexibility of jobs, lack of respect from co-workers, gossiping, employers that do not include workers in their work environment decisions...etc. Everyone knows what I am talking about. How does everyone feel about the adversity of both worlds? I have done both and one thing that I like about agency you get to see the job before you decide if you may want to invest in it later. I'v e been doing primarily long term care, and I have found that long term care is the same no matter where you go. But agency is okay I like the flexibility, it is like being your own boss, pay is great too.:hatparty:
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Town & Country
    Haven't worked agency but it's definitely the wave of the future.
  4. by   TeenyBabyRN
    Only downside of agency I have experienced is (at least on some units) you get the patients that no one on staff wants
    (like the 3-C patients: Crazy, Combative, and C-diff +) YUCK!!

    on the other hand, at least you get more money to take them~~
  5. by   ERNurse752
    I think agency sounds like a good deal, but it seems that hospitals in my area are getting away from using them. One huge system here doesn't use agency, and my hospital network just went "agency-free" a few months ago.

    I may still try it at some point though. It's kind of like dating...try out a lot of options to see what you like, then maybe settle down someday.
  6. by   suzanne4
    You can also try per diem at some of the hospitals...............the pay is actually quite good..........
  7. by   Mister Chris
    Try working independently - self employed. Takes some setting up but you are your own boss and the tax breaks are good. Now in my 3rd year as an independent nurse. You need to check out the market and be prepared for turn downs from some establishments - you also have to be able to sell yourself. In Australia we get 23% extra on our pay for casual even with going rates and a few dollars per hour for yourself you are still a lot cheaper than agency - and probably a lot more reliable!
    Fill in for sickness and holidays etc. and be good - get repeat business.
    Works for me. :roll :roll
  8. by   angel337
    i think agency is wonderful as long as you are realistic about what is expected of you when you go to different hospitals. be prepared for anything. i have never done agency, but i have worked with alot of agency nurses and they say anyone that chooses this route must be prepared to be totally independent. all hospitals don't have the same support staff, you may be expected to do everything for the patient in one hospital and in another they may have techs and transport to assist you. most agency nurses love nursing more because of the control they have and of course the increased salary. the downside i see is being cancelled. my hospital does not use agency as much as they did 3-4 years ago and that's because more people are going into nursing (poor economy) and they are offering the staff more bonuses as incentives for OT. you sound like you are ready for a change, don't worry you'll do great
  9. by   jemb
    I worked agency for many years and loved it. My primary reason for eventually taking a conventional job was the opportunity to work my speciaty in an outpatient setting. Otherwise I would most likely still be working agency.

    I loved the flexibility and being able to make my own schedule, take time off when I wanted, etc. If I didn't like a particular facility, or even a particular unit, I did not have to work there.

    You must have self-discipline to be successful. There's always the temptation to take more time off when the weather is good or you want to finish a project at home. You also need to take care of your own retirement and health care insurance, although some agencies provide this as an option with group rates.

    Down sides of agency nursing are 'dry spells' when you may go for weeks with only a few days work, and the tendency of facilities to cancel the remainder of your shift after four or eight hours if the census decreases.

    I also found that, as I became older, my health insurance premiums were becoming ridiculously expensive. I've always preferred to pay for my own benefits instead of being dependent upon an employer for them.
  10. by   Havin' A Party!
    Does the extra pay compensate for the lack of insurance, tuition reimbursement, other training, vaccinations, and the apparently, reduced availability?
  11. by   KaroSnowQueen
    I have worked agency exclusively for three years and love it. Higher pay, work the hours I want to, NO mandatory holidays, etc. Hubby carries the insurance, always has, since healthcare insurance SUCKS, so that doesn't enter into it. I just have to remember to keep money back for vacations & Christmas, but I love it, the benefits far outweigh the deficits.
  12. by   nurseygrrl
    One of my best friends works agency and she really likes it. I think it depends on your personality and whether or not you can get by without the benefits that come with full time employment.

    She likes the fact that she can make her own schedule. She works lots in the winter so she can work only a few days a week in the summertime. She also likes it that she doesn't get involved with the facility BS that goes on when you're a full timer.

    She doesn't like it when places cancel and she doesn't like it when she gets used to a facility and all of a sudden they become 'agency free'.

    She also makes a ton more money than I do. 13 dollars more per hour!
  13. by   Havin' A Party!
    Quote from HerEyes73
    ... One of my best friends works agency and she... makes... 13 dollars more per hour!
    Yikes! Not too shabby!

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