How are agency nurses being treated in San Francisco?

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    How are agency nurses being treated here in San Francisco (particularly CPMC, St. Mary's)? I've been a meg/surg RN, BSN for 4.5 years. Recently moved to San Francisco in January 2011 d/t spouse's new job. I will be doing some per diem agency assignments b/c I am having a hard time getting a staff RN position in SF and the bay area. I've only had one CPMC manager call me for an interview since February, otherwise, no calls from the almost 50 online applications that I've submitted. Anyway, I am not too worried about getting enough hours or being cancelled as a per diem agency RN. I am more concerned about getting used to hitting the floor without much orientation. Any advice for me? Please and thank you!
  2. 9 Comments so far...

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    Currently I am in a county hospital in the East Bay as a traveler and I love it. There are several agency nurses there and they have shared that they are getting more than enough work. Compensation is high and I think that offsets any negative aspects. Be open minded and make the best of it.
    Best wishes.
    sn03 likes this.
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    I'm sorry that I don't have information with regards to your question. I just want to add my "two cents" that I am surprised that with 4.5 years med/surg experience you are having trouble finding a staff position. It just doesn't add up...hospitals do not staff adequately and then use agency nurses which are more expensive. How do they save money that way?
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    Quote from aNaders_RN
    I'm sorry that I don't have information with regards to your question. I just want to add my "two cents" that I am surprised that with 4.5 years med/surg experience you are having trouble finding a staff position. It just doesn't add up...hospitals do not staff adequately and then use agency nurses which are more expensive. How do they save money that way?
    We don't have work here in the Bay Area. We've had several hospital closures, which has lead to a back log of jobs. There isn't enough work to go around unless you are working in nonacute care environments (I am). People with acute care jobs are holding on to them tightly.
    caliotter3, Art_Vandelay, and sn03 like this.
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    Quote from aNaders_RN
    I'm sorry that I don't have information with regards to your question. I just want to add my "two cents" that I am surprised that with 4.5 years med/surg experience you are having trouble finding a staff position. It just doesn't add up...hospitals do not staff adequately and then use agency nurses which are more expensive. How do they save money that way?
    Yes, I am quite surprised and depressed at the same time with my situation. I don't have any criminal record or any restriction on my RN license. I have good work ethics, a clean record. My guess is that I have a lot of competition and perhaps there are nurses out there with more years of experience?? My previous manager and co-workers are also surprised that it has taken me this long to land a staff position here in SF/bay area (even if it's a per diem staff position). Thanks for your two cents
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    You are very welcome.

    I am having trouble as well in Arizona trying to obtain a hospital position. I am at my year experience in sub-acute care, but hospitals here are pushing hard for BSN, and I haven't yet enrolled as I'm trying to get rid of ADN debt.
    Anyway, best of luck! Enjoy San Fran...so beautiful!
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    Working agency nursing (I'm assuming you mean a registry set up and not a traveler) is hit or miss. It pays SIGNIFICANTLY less than the standard pay of the staff nurses. When I occasionally pick up a shift for quick cash, I make HALF the hourly wage as staff nurses do.

    The hospital options that you get sent to aren't great, theres really only about 2 hospitals that use agency nurses on the regular enough to get all of your shifts and its not a situation where your license is terribly safe.

    I would use it to make ends meet if absolutely needed, if not - its not worth it.
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    Quote from mskate
    Working agency nursing (I'm assuming you mean a registry set up and not a traveler) is hit or miss. It pays SIGNIFICANTLY less than the standard pay of the staff nurses. When I occasionally pick up a shift for quick cash, I make HALF the hourly wage as staff nurses do.

    The hospital options that you get sent to aren't great, theres really only about 2 hospitals that use agency nurses on the regular enough to get all of your shifts and its not a situation where your license is terribly safe.

    I would use it to make ends meet if absolutely needed, if not - its not worth it.
    Yes, I do mean registry. Thank you for your advice, I appreciate it.
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    I think it depends on the agency and the facility. I'm in an almost identical situation. The facility where I ended up getting per diem shifts didn't allow registry nurses computer access, so staff nurses had to sign in for you to check labs/orders. The staff was pretty nice about it, but everyone is extremely busy, so... The floor that I ended up on was going through some transitions with management, and there were a few things that happened that led me to leave fairly quickly. I ended up getting a position several hours away as a staff nurse - I drive over once a week to do 3 shifts in a row. The drive is kind of crazy, but my experience made me realize that I need to be backed up by my employer, not be the first one thrown to the wolves. I sincerely hope that agency works for you - my advice would be to really ask questions about what access you'll have as a registry nurse compared to what the staff nurses have, and really make sure your agency will have your back. Best of luck!
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    Try Diamond Nurses in Concord or healthcarerecruiter.biz in San Francisco. They were able to help me and a colleague to find permanent full time RN positions.


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