I'm a Traveler, and an agency nurse. I have been an agency nurse for 20yrs, and a Travel nurse for 10yrs. I prefer travel now because, when I first started being an Agency nurse, the hospital had to give 4hrs notice before cancelling you. Now they only have to give about 2hrs or less sometimes. As for agency nurses making more money. Back in the early 80's, agencies paid no benefits, no retirement, and some took out no taxes. That has changed! Now agencys offer benefits, vacation, 401ks, Ceu reimbrusement, immunization, etc, etc. BUT...there is no job security. If you have to work 40hrs a week, and your specialties are limited, so will the jobs offered you. Once you finish a shift, at most hospitals, you're not garaunteed a shift, or you have to be available for many different shifts, and willing to be very flexible as to where you will travel to, and how far! Many times hospitals will only give you the bare essentials for orientation. Where the patients are, dirty/clean utility, med room, bathroom(maybe), etc. Some hospital may offer you a 4hour orientation, where a day or two used to be the norm.
Travel nursing, you're oriented most of the time to the hospital system, paperwork, policies, parking, charting,(how that hospital does theirs), ...the things a new employee would go through. You sign a contract for 4-13weeks with 13weeks being the usual amount of time, and most times you are placed on one unit the whole time. Only once did I get floated, and that is because it was as an ICU/ER float contract. If the hospital wishes to train you for an area, they might ask for a 6mos contract, to recup their expenses for training you. In turn you are paid a few dollars less hourly, while the hospital pays for housing, furniture, utilities, sometimes even phone, meals, transportation, and maid service at some places. Depends on the contract, the agency, and the hospital. The agency paids for travel to the hospital area, the licensure, and bonuses for starting a contract, and a completion bonus maybe paid by the agency, and the hospital. Most times the traveler, until the hospital is able to fill the position she/he is filling in temp., can renew until the hospital does find someone. Most hospitals are hoping you will sign on with them.
As to the staff nurses who dogg out travel, and agency nurses! I find this conduct to be totally self defeating! Why would anyone work hard at trying to throw away help that is given to them?? This has always made no sense to me. If the staff doesn't like them because they make too much money, then they have the opporutnity to do the same kind of work agency nurses do, and make the same amount of money, and now have benefits!
But because most people who don't wish to do agency work, because they're unable or unwilling to be flexible, and adjust quickly to new surrounding, are the ones doing the dogging. So if they don't want to do it, and have the opportunity to do so, why get mad at us??? If you don't have enough help...why screw your chances of ever getting help??? The hospital can't find you help from regular staff so they call agencies, they never know who they will get, or if they will get anyone. So they turn to travel nursing agencies, to get regular stable help until they can hire someone. And I know these hospitals do try to hire help, as they have offered me a job everywhere I have been.
It's the hospitals that would rather work staff to death, by making them work mandatory OT, that I would be upset with, not the ones, who try, and arrange additional help for their floors!!!
And YESSSSsss....I have been dogged by mean, angry nurses, who are territorial, unhelpful, and who try to give us the worst pts., and sit down on their behinds, and feel justified in doing so "because they make more money"! Or they try to make you look bad, because there are some who are jealous of agency nurse's ability to float anywhere, without being afraid to do so.
Funny those are the floors that usually have the most needs for agency!!! I don't mind taking the slack off regular staff, so they can get a break once in a while. What I don't like is the staff rational for doing this. If I get dogged too much, I don't come back. And this will be the same unit, that continually calls my agency asking that I come back, because of course they're short again. But I don't go back, and most other agency nurses don't either, once they find out how that unit is. So who did they hurt?? I'm still working, just not there, NOT with THEM, and I'm STILL making more money, WITH benefits!!!
I have of course went to many hospitals, that I loved going back to, and it didn't matter where they sent me, as I was welcomed!
One unit treated me so well, I did 4 or 5 contracts in an ICU/CCU, and worked along side RNs as and one other LPN in the unit, and was treated like an equal, not an underly.
So if you have the chance to have an agency, or travel nurse, treat them well. You never know when you will need those extra hands.
I think staff members who don't want agency nurses, should go to their administration, and tell them they will take double the patient load, let them take that raise they keep talking about...LOL! I wonder how long that would last??? Beleive me not long! One hospital that used to dogg agency nurses, after not being able to get ANYONE to come back there, offered my agency, ANY amount to get someone to come in!!! NOBODY took the offer of " HOW MUCH WOULD IT TAKE TO GET YOU TO GO"? "My" reply was there wasn't enough money...and I was broke at the time!!!!!!!
So those who mistreat agency/travel nurses, there are many hospitals who no longer can get help...don't let this become you!!!