Agency/New Grad- Too risky?


Hello everyone. I just got my LPN license in January. I have been trying to find a long term care job for two months. The only thing I managed to get hired by is two agencies. I have an assignment Saturday (7a to 7p.) They provide no training so you just show up and 'act like you know what you are doing.' That is what I was told by the person that interviewed me. What advice can you give me? What I was told is that you walk into the facility and tell the receptionist where you are from- she will then give you your orders and send you on your way. I was thinking about showing up at 6:30am to see if the Nurse from 3rd shift would show me the ropes a little? Like how to use the online charting etc. Please tell me if I am crazy to take such of a risk- I work as an aide now and only make $9 an hour. I just can't afford to live on this anymore. I have not been sleeping well because I am so anxious....


349 Posts

I really don't think a new grad has any business working agency, I'm sorry to say. I totally understand that you need to start working as a nurse and making more money but I just think you're risking your newly-earned license by doing this.

I'd also seriously question the scruples of any agency that hired a new grad. All of the agencies around here require at least one year's experience, for good reason I think.

I wouldn't count on a third shift nurse being willing and able to orient you before your shift starts. They're trying to get their 6 am meds and accuchecks done at 6:30 and wont be expecting you. You might meet a kind soul who happens to have a few minutes to show you the computers but it's a crap shoot.

I hate to be negative but I just don't think this is a safe situation for you.


212 Posts

Yes, I am terrified and am really re-thinking showing up Saturday. I wonder how long I would have to change my mind.


945 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics, ER. Has 6 years experience.

You worked really hard for that have to ask yourself if it's worth the risk - both yours and the patient's life you may endanger because you don't know what you're doing....trying a skill once in clinical and putting your license on the line that you're proficient at it are two very different don't know what you don't know until you have a thorough orientation.


90 Posts

I concur that this is a poor idea. The agency should not put you in this position, it is not safe for you or your patients. You maybe able to pull it off if the staff really helps you out, but there is no way to guarantee that. The charting, supplies, and everything else will be new to you, and as a new grad your skills are not well honed yet. I will be a new grad soon, so I am not trying to put you down or anything.

Take care


112 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg; aged care; OH&S. Has 14 years experience.

New grads shouldn't work for agencies. When I graduated back in the 90s, I worked with a few nursing grads who went straight to agencies and they were very unsafe practitioners - not their fault, but they were inexperienced and hadn't had any orientation or support. However, as a health professional, you have a duty of care to only perform tasks and be placed in situations you know you can handle. If you go into a situation knowing you can't handle it, you are legally responsible for the care you give, or any mistakes you make.

No amount of money is worth making a serious error frankly. I agree that the agency is unethical telling you to turn up looking like you know what you're doing. That's a big red flag right there.

I think you know what to do.

Has 19 years experience.

I don't think it is a safe situation, either- it's a disaster waiting to happen.

I've been a nurse for a long time, and have lots of nsg home experience- and I would never work in an LTC without orientation. I know how overwhelming it can be- It's just too much.

If it's a day shift, you will probably have about 30 pts all by yourself- to give three full med passes to, do all their tx, etc. Even experienced nurses struggle with this.


61 Posts

Specializes in Psych/Corrections.

you have your license to lose, the agency has nothing to lose. I would call going in with agency, without any orientation suicide. Do not do it. It's not worth your hard earned license.

morte, LPN, LVN

7,015 Posts

no.freakin.way.......i wouldnt ever work for an agency that would hire a new grad.....this is a DISASTER waiting to happen......please reconsider......


218 Posts

And make sure you don't just not show up cause that cold hurt you to.


8 Posts

Specializes in CICU. Has 2 years experience.

Agencies exist like any other business, to make money. The pay is tempting, but you should probably take a "regular job" for at least 6 months (a year would be better) before even attempting an agency position. Just don't take a sign-on bonus if you're planning on working agency down the line. The time commitment isn't worth what you'll be making later. Good luck.

Spritenurse1210, BSN, RN

1 Article; 777 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg.

i agree with everyone here, agency is NOT the way to go without at least a year of experience.

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