Is this the norm? - page 2

I got hired at a local peds agency. I went through orientation. They asked me how far I was willing to travel and I agreed to 45 minutes away. That was lastweek. On Tuesday someone from their... Read More

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    Quote from KATRN78
    Ok, so the story is unfolding a bit. They offered me reimbursment to travel there. They also said after 3 weeks they will put me on a more local case. All this in writing.

    I think they need me more than I need them? IDK!
    One time I was offered travel pay along with a slightly higher rate of pay to work on one case for a new to me agency that was in the process of hiring me. But that was that one case, for that one Director of Clinical Services, for that one agency, in that one instance. She came right out and told me she could never get anyone to travel that far so she offered me the incentive and I was happy to take it at the time. It was only for two shifts a week. There would have been some more thinking involved if it were for full time because it was a lot of miles and a lot of travel time for a generally low pay rate. Definitely not the norm. Your situation is not the norm either, especially to get it in writing. Good luck.

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    They only pay more or offer mileage when they are desperate. They could be desperate for a few reasons. Be cautious with this case. Could be distance....but be real....there has to be a nurse that lives nearer to the case. Usually they offer more pay if they are about to lose the case because the family is upset for some reason. The family can be upset because of lack of coverage or because they are a bad family and can't keep a nurse. They may offer more pay because its hard to staff. The agencies almost never tell you the truth. They tell you what they *want* you to know.

    You really should make your travel distance an hour. After that I would tell them you are willing to travel further with mileage/time compensation. Most nurses will travel an hour. 45 min limits you and the agency will judge you on that. Then when the agency has a case you may be willing to go to, they won't bother to call you because they figure you'll say no and they'll call someone who is more likely to say yes. They dont want to waste time calling nurses that will say no. They will call the person who will say yes the fastest so they can get their job done in the office. Agree to take a further case and tell them that you'll be glad to staff that case until another case opens up closer. Or tell them you'll float (its good for experience anyway) and work a few shifts far away and swap the shifts for closer shifts as they come up.

    Don't expect a call back from them. They are busy. Unless they have something for you, they aren't going to call you back to tell you they don't have anything for you. They would love to use you on a case as they aren't making money off of you by you not working. Never forget that they don't make money if you aren't making money. Anytime a shift is an inconvenience for you, tell the agency and ask them for a better rate since you will have to cancel plans. You can't use it all the time. But when you really have something else going on it works well. Its respiratory season. Lots of nurses are out because of cases going in the hospital. If those nurses are f/t the agency will get them shifts first...especially if they are benefitted. But also it makes it harder to get work if the other nurses are needing shifts too. Some agencies will choose based on who has been there longer on who to call first. Ask them to orient on a few cases that have frequent call outs. Then they can call you last minute to cover those shifts because you will have an advantage on other nurses that aren't oriented or haven't met the parents. Its also a good way to get your foot in the door of other cases in case a nurse leaves for some reason. Don't expect regular work unless you get a regular case. Then expect anything to go wrong and to lose the case. You never know what the parents are thinking. Its typically feast or famine. Work when you can get it because there will be times when work is slow or non-existent for a few weeks.
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    Also if your new to the agency/PDN then taking a weekend or night shift can get you in the door. Also some agencies when they staff a new case will give a couple of days to one nurse and a couple to the other to give both the parents and the nurses a choice and a few weeks in one nurse will end up with the full time gig.

    Also expect that in your first gig you might get bumped by a nurse with more seniority. On my first case I was put on full time and it was going well. I was replacing the nurse of 2 years who had gone AWOL. Well she unawoled herself called mom and the next day I'm off the case. The staffing guy felt so bad he was mad that his supervisor was letting that other nurse came back since the agency lost out on billing for 3 weeks because she just disappeared.
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    Thanks for all the great info! I will benefit from this, as will other new nurses, I am sure!

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