Published Jun 8, 2005
I'm moving to Pittsburgh in August and am looking for a job for my wife who does neonatal ICU. Which agencies are most liked in PA/Pittsburgh and professional to work with? Are agency nurses used very often? Thanks to those who responded to my other thread.
I feel especially qualified to help you with this question because I am involved with Pittsburgh hospitals as a student, and I also have worked Part-Time as a staffing coordinator for a temporary staffing agency for the past 4 years. To be completely honest and unbiased, I feel that it would not be in your wifes best interest to work for a temporary agency if her clinical specialty is the NICU. This is for two reasons...
1.) The best hospitals in Pittsburgh for all things neonatal are Magee-Womens & Childrens Hospital which are both UPMC affiliated. Now, UPMC drastically altered their staffing procedure last year when they narrowed down the outside agency selections to about 5 pre-approved vendors. If your wife failed to get a job with one of these UPMC approved agencies, (Intelistaf, ATC, etc...) then she would never see the inside of a UPMC hospital. Also, UPMC is a teaching hospital, and most of their students elect to receive full tuition reimbursement if they agree to work for 2 years at any UPMC facility. Even though there is a serious nursing shortage nationwide, UPMC tends to be able to handle this problem relatively well with the use of students, float-pools and greater nurse/patient ratios.
2.) Aside from UPMC (the "Jedi Master" of Pittsburgh hopsitals), there are other less dominant hospital systems & smaller community hospitals to choose from. However...I have noticed a HUGE decrease in NICU staffing over the past 18 months. In fact, I haven't had a hospital ask for a NICU agency nurse in over a year! The hospitals seem to have the greatest need for Telemetry and CCU. And most referrals are actually for Long Term Care facilities, not hospitals. Although this trend may experience a reversal in the future, the chances are great that your wife would not get her prime choice of shifts and/or she would be cancelled ALOT.
Translation...while agency nurses earn a higher wage and are afforded freedoms in scheduling, if your wife wants to actually work and garner satisfaction from her career, I humbly advise her to apply directly to a hospital at first, and see where it goes from there.
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