Nurse Staffing agencies

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    Do nurse staffing agencies usually hire/work with new graduates? Would anyone recommend using a nurse staffing agency as a new grad? I'm very leery of agencies but feel I don't have much of an option anymore. I've been applying to jobs everywhere since October and have only been on one interview. Everyone wants a BSN or experience. I'm getting very desperate and frustrated.
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  3. 13 Comments so far...

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    I wouldn't. It would be very overwhelming for you! I worked pool as a LPN but with lots of experience. Even if they hire you, you'd get a limited orientation....and sometimes the worse job assignments in the facility, and they usually want you to have 6m-1y experience as a nurse. I know that's what you don't want to hear!

    Have you tried HHC, or private duty?
    sunshinesz and poppycat like this.
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    We live in Louisiana and we have to have a year of nursing experience before getting hired by agency also.

    Anne, RNC
    poppycat likes this.
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    Agencies expect their nurses to be proficient in their area of practice. The orientations provided by both the agency and facility are more of the “here's where everything is” than Nursing 101. Orientation is often only a shift or two. Most agencies don't have the desire or resources to teach a new grad their first year of nursing; because of that, most agencies will not touch new grads. Sorry.

    There are some home health agencies that may take on a new grad...if you find one, ask about the type, quality and length of orientation and training that you will receive. The reality is that you are NOT going to get the same caliber of orientation and training that you would in a hospital’s new grad program. And keep in mind that should something happen while you are on assignment, YOU and not your agency will be held accountable. So if you decide to pursue home health as a new grad, you do so at your own risk.
    poppycat likes this.
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    But wouldn't HHC and private duty carry the same issues as far as no orientation and lack of experience?
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    Quote from wendy30
    But wouldn't HHC and private duty carry the same issues as far as no orientation and lack of experience?
    They do have those same issues. But there's still a few agencies that will take on new grads for HHC/PD, and more than a few new grads desparate enough to do it.

    Now, just because they will take on a new grad doesn't mean it's a good idea for the new grad to do it.

    You need to be able to function independently. And you'll need to become independent fast: there's no cushy learning cuirve. You need well-tuned assessment skills and be able to critically think. There's no safety net down the hall should a patient go south, no preceptor/colleague that you can wander over to for a second opinion or some feedback. Yes, you can call them, but you have to hope someone's on the other end of the line to pick up the phone when you dial.

    IMO, I wouldn't recommend HH/PD until you have at least a couple of years' experience under your best. And definitely do not do it without malpractice insurance because--God forbid--something happen to your patient, you will be the one held accountable.
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    I used to work for a large healthcare staffing agency--specifically in nurse staffing with local LTC facilities and some hospitals. Our recruiters wouldn't even talk to someone with less than a year of experience. Period. It was also strict that if you had to have at least a year experience in each setting you were trying to get work, meaning if you had 1 year of experience in LTC we would only place you in LTC facilities. We had a lot of nurses that we're expecting us to get them into the hospitals so they could get hospital experience but, per the contracts with the hospitals, we couldn't.

    Orientation as many of these facilities was less than an hour.
    Meriwhen likes this.
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    Quote from Meriwhen
    They do have those same issues. But there's still a few agencies that will take on new grads for HHC/PD, and more than a few new grads desparate enough to do it.

    Now, just because they will take on a new grad doesn't mean it's a good idea for the new grad to do it.

    You need to be able to function independently. And you'll need to become independent fast: there's no cushy learning cuirve. You need well-tuned assessment skills and be able to critically think. There's no safety net down the hall should a patient go south, no preceptor/colleague that you can wander over to for a second opinion or some feedback. Yes, you can call them, but you have to hope someone's on the other end of the line to pick up the phone when you dial.

    IMO, I wouldn't recommend HH/PD until you have at least a couple of years' experience under your best. And definitely do not do it without malpractice insurance because--God forbid--something happen to your patient, you will be the one held accountable.
    Thank you for your opinion. I agree whole heartedly and turned down an agency that was ready to place me on a home care assignment with a vent/trach patient before they even interviewed me and after I repeatedly told them I was a new grad. I started to kick myself for doing that but I knew it was the right decision. I just wanted some reassurance that I made the right choice. I worked too hard to earn my license to jeopardize it. It's just so frustrating when I desperately need work and everyone wants experience. How am I supposed to get experience? UGH!!!
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    I'm in the same boat. I am a new grad with no experience and I interviewed with an agency today and they said since I went to nursing school they have to trust I know what I am doing. I am really hesitant to take this because I have worked too long and hard to jeopardize my license. I even brought up that I don't like that there is no orientation and in my clinicals we are not always able to practice every skill we were taught. And like you I have nothing else. Also, is it bad that they will take new grads?
  12. 0
    Quote from bear14
    I'm in the same boat. I am a new grad with no experience and I interviewed with an agency today and they said since I went to nursing school they have to trust I know what I am doing. I am really hesitant to take this because I have worked too long and hard to jeopardize my license. I even brought up that I don't like that there is no orientation and in my clinicals we are not always able to practice every skill we were taught. And like you I have nothing else. Also, is it bad that they will take new grads?
    In a word--yes it is bad. Most reputable agencies will not take nurses with less than 1 year of experience for a reason. This agency most likely cares more about their profit off of you than your license or the patient(s) you will be with.


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