Published Mar 21, 2005
I've been working for an agency on a full time basis for almost 4 years now. It has been fairly consistent work. I've been cancelled on occasion but for the most part, I get all the work I want and need. Recently there seems to be more pressure to take 13 week contracts because the NJ Hospital Association has made all agencies bidding on full time hospital work to take less money in return for these guaranteed 13 weeks of work.
I'm just curious, why would a full time agency person want to tie themselves up on a contract that pays less per hour? It seems to me, that if I wanted that kind of "guarantee" I'd go work for a hospital! Also, apparently, if you take one of these contracts the hospital will tell you when to work and that will include things like weekends, holidays, etc!:angryfire
It just doesn't seem to be the way to go, but the agency I use is stressing that there is less and less per diem work available and that if we want work in the long run, we'll need to take these contracts. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks!
Dixielee, BSN, RN
Hospitals are looking for ways to cut corners and save money. I was traveling at a hospital that eliminated travelers but went to "local travel" contracts with a local agency. It paid more per hour, but cut out the tax incentives, travel allowance and housing stipend. But the hospital saved a bundle. I think more and more hospitals are making these moves, but they also have to have nurses who will agree to take them. If no one agrees to them, they will have to get creative again. I am still traveling, and will as long as I can. I just can't stomach going back on staff and being subjected to the politics and related BS you have when they have you under foot.
The pressure to sign a contract may be either the recruiters ploy to log more hours on their paycheck, or that the facility is trying something different temp to see how it goes. In most cases the rates an agency gets paid by a hospital are about the same per hour regardless if its travel or local, so the facilities really dont save much money in the end. Then as far as the pay rates RNs receive, if you really do the math, the pay you rcv while on travel breaks down to about the same youd rcv hourly working local agency per diem contract. Most facilities will also offer a bonus at the end of the contract. All I can say is dont be afraid to ask for what you want, if your company isnt doing EVERYTHING they can to accomadate you, Then it may be time to look for another company.
Be wary if what you hear and listen with your eyes. What are the predictions for the future nursing shortage? I truly believe we are just beginning to see what is going to happen. Do not settle for what you do not want to do or for "scare tactics." Hospital managers and administration network as we do [i"m sure you know this], and at times they make a collective decision to try to eliminate travel nurses.Whether they like it or not, the nursing shortage will continue to grow as the populations get older re:supply and demand. Hang in there!
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