Agency or not?

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    I know many of you have worked agency. Would you recommend agency work for an RN with 2 years experience? What have your experiences been like?

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  2. 10 Comments...

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    Hi,
    In my opinion, it is difficult nowadays to do agency even for nurses with over five years of experience. The person power shortage exacerbates this. I think, however, if you have alot of confidence in your skills, abilities, and knowledge that agency may be the way to go if you don't want to make commitments. Can you or are you going to work in the same facility you trained or worked in? It tends to be more difficult when you work in a setting you're not familiar with. I got doused with the worse patients when I worked agency at some hospitals years ago. I thought it too risky, so I went back to being employed by one employer. Best wishes.
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    I worked agency for a couple of years and then made the sad mistake of going back to being a hospital employee. The difference, I think,is the agency. I could choose where and when I wanted to work. The trade-off for me was in the drive, since I live in a rural area at least an hour and a half away from everything. Summers tend to get kind of slack, so you have to be financially prepared for that but the wage usually makes up for that and if you can function as an "independent contractor" you get to make some very significant tax deductions. There is just nothing like being able to control your own schedule and your own life and the nicest thing, I think (maybe I've just been lucky) is the "Thanks for helping us out today" that I get at the end of the shift. You do have to show yourself to be willing to work hard, and to learn and not criticize the way the unit or the hospital does things. But I have been fortunate enough to have gotten easier assignments because they don't want to run the agency nurses off. The nurses on some of the units on which I've worked are just too happy to have the help - and to have GOOD help - to cause us to not want to return to their unit.

    I'm returning to agency work at the end of my current work schedule. I am taking control of my life back and I make no apologies for it. It is what will allow me to continue school and get my car paid off.

    Good luck.

    Babs
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    I have just completed my nursing studies, although I have been doing basic nursing for some 10 years. I have worked as an agency nurse and I have found it to be very difficult. Why? I found working in a new environment almost every day quite unsettling, not to mention the machinations of other staff that may work there regarding agency workers. I prefer to have position within a place of work that I know rather than not. I suppose it is a case of better the devil you know than the one you don't. Really the decision to do agency work is quite an individual one. I had a difficult time with it, you may find it the solution to your problems. The money was good, but I think the patients at most hospitals would like to see continuity of staff as this reassures them of their standards of care (from a psychological viewpoint), however, we should all be delivery simmilar standards of care.
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    I found working agency to be the best experiance I have ever had in my nursing career. I've been a nurse for 7 years and worked the first 6 as a staff employee at a few facilities. I decided to give agency a try a year ago and would never think about going back opn staff. The flexible schedule allows me to spend more time with my family, and the high wages makes it all the better. Plus the agency I work with offers full benifits (BCBS,401K etc) so basically you can't beat that. On the downside, yes you do get more challenging work loads at times but i just smile and think its only 8 hours and i'm making almost twice what you make to do this so what you gave me the hard assignment, It'll be worth it come payday
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    I too have gone agency, and you wouldn't catch me ever being a regular hospital employee again! I make almost double what I did as a staff nurse, I tell THEM when I will work, and if you are personable, and work hard, you will find that hospitals will want to keep you on, so there is no running from hospital to hospital. It's wide open. If you find a particular hospital that you like, you can work there exclusively! And if you don't like a place, you can move on with ease! This is the best move I have ever made! Like babs rn I have found that the regular staff in most cases are only too happy to have your help. Of course there are a few that seem to think they can take it easy at your expense, but I have actually had a heart to heart with management over it and guess what? Those people are no longer employed there! Due to nursing shortages, they can't afford to have the agency refusing to work in a hostile environment.

    In the end, the decision is yours, but my decision to work agency has been the best one I ever made, both professionally and personally.
  8. 0
    Originally posted by crazymonkeybee:
    I know many of you have worked agency. Would you recommend agency work for an RN with 2 years experience? What have your experiences been like?
  9. 0
    Originally posted by bunky:
    I too have gone agency, and you wouldn't catch me ever being a regular hospital employee again! I make almost double what I did as a staff nurse, I tell THEM when I will work, and if you are personable, and work hard, you will find that hospitals will want to keep you on, so there is no running from hospital to hospital. It's wide open. If you find a particular hospital that you like, you can work there exclusively! And if you don't like a place, you can move on with ease! This is the best move I have ever made! Like babs rn I have found that the regular staff in most cases are only too happy to have your help. Of course there are a few that seem to think they can take it easy at your expense, but I have actually had a heart to heart with management over it and guess what? Those people are no longer employed there! Due to nursing shortages, they can't afford to have the agency refusing to work in a hostile environment.

    In the end, the decision is yours, but my decision to work agency has been the best one I ever made, both professionally and personally.
    TOTALLY AGREE. ONLY ONE DIFFERENCE. IT ANGERS ME THAT THE AGENCY IS MAKING ABOUT 35% OFF OF OUR WORK. AGREE THAT SUPERIOR WORK WILL LEAD TO RETENTION AND ALSO BELIEVE THAT THE HOSPITAL/FACILITY WILL REQUEST GOOD WORKERS. I HOWEVER AM NOT ALLOWING AN AGENCY TO COLLECT MONEY FOR MY WORK. PRETTY NEAT HUH! I HAVE THE TOOL IF YOUR INTERESTED. MY NAME IS AARON AND I ALSO WORK IN TEXAS AS A NURSE. EMAIL IF INTERESTED.
    NURSEAARON@YAHOO.COM
  10. 0
    Originally posted by crazymonkeybee:
    I know many of you have worked agency. Would you recommend agency work for an RN with 2 years experience? What have your experiences been like?
    ABSOLUTELY not. Well maybe to get your feet in the door. Did you know that they will collect about 35% of the money that you made for them. Approx 15$ per hour that is. I myself will soon refuse them to do this. The agency is a wonderful thing if you are prepared, and like another reply stated, feel competent in your skills/pt care. If interested in learning more about this xtra money that they will take from you feel free to email me at nurseeaaron@yahoo.com. My name is Aaron and I'm from fort worth. Great idea to go into agency though. But like I stated earlier,only if you feel ready will you be ready.

    Good luck,

    AARON
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    Enlighten me, heck ALL of us Aaron! I think I know what your solution is though, and am also thinking of the same thing. What if when called into work, we were to say, "Sure for $XX/hr I will." I received a call yesterday from my former employer asking if I could come to work as they were desparate. It was on my answering machine and I was already scheduled to work agency somewhere else this weekend but I think as an independent I could've named my price and got it. Is this what you are hinting at Aaron? Do tell...


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