Agencies-are they a rip-off


Are agencies genuine? they seem to pay alot higher that hospitals---up to $30 an hour. I am just wondering why most people don't choose agency nursing whic can sometimes pay twice as much per hour.

Sometimes I wonder if they are a rip-off. They seem desperate for people.

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 8 years experience.

It depends where you work. I know some RN's that may 50+ with their agencies.

The downside to agency nursing is that they send you nto a wide variety of facilities, and you never really get to bond with staff, you are there for temporary relief.

The point of an agency is to allow the RN to have a per diem position allowing you to gain experience while you maintain a fulltime or partime position.


450 Posts

Specializes in NeuroICU/SICU/MICU.

I may be wrong here, but my understanding of why agency pays higher than hospitals is that agencies don't usually offer benefits like health insurance. I think you'd get close to the same wage at the hospital if you opted out of benefits. Again, though, anyone feel free to correct me :)


1,348 Posts

Most nurses do not like frequent change. As an agency nurse, you never know what you are going to walk into since many times you don't even know what hospital or what floor you are being sent to until you call a couple of hours before your scheduled shift to verify you are working.

Many nurses cannot risk being cancelled and going without a paycheck like agency nurses do.

Many nurses use their jobs as a place to socialize. Agency nurses often are treated badly. Othertimes they are just "there" but they are not part of the group since they are agency. People who must be part of the group and get in their chat time at work generally don't do agency.

People who love agency love it and people who hate agency work hate it. There usually is not a middle ground. Agencies seem desperate but that is only because hospitals are so short staffed that they drive the agencies crazy with requests for work and even agency nurses get sick of working in bad places....and the shortage of nurses willing to work in today's environments continues.

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

Agency shifts are not guaranteed, and one can be cancelled up to two hours before the shift starts. When cancelled, you do not receive payment for the shift, even if you hired child care, etc.

And depending on the agency, many times there are not any benefits included such as sick time or vacation time, or medical insurance.

Specializes in Psychiatrics. Has 17 years experience.

I work full time for an "agency" and I have 3-4 places that I work at alot, and then there are several places that I work at just occasionally, several places that I work at rarely, and then a few places that I have only worked there once. I have worked at my agency for 8 months, and so far there has only been one week that I have not gotten my hours (and part of that was my own fault). I love working for the agency, the places that I go to for the most part, the places that I work at alot, I AM A PART OF THE STAFF without being a part of the staff. I get paid more than most of the rest of the nurses that I work with, but that has never been an issue with the people I work with. Most of the time, in fact I cannot think of a time that my co-workers have not been happy to see me. I have health insurance, I have short term disability, and life insurance through my agency. Maybe I just got lucky and got a good agency.



2,098 Posts

We have an agency that's rather new. We almost always have the same people. They practically are staff and the nurses they have sent us are VERY good. Never any problems with any of them and the staff likes them.

They can't be making much more that the staff though because our rates are pretty good. Are rates are only about 2 dollars above staff except of holidays.

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