Agency NSG vs Travel NSG???

Nurses General Nursing


I understand what travel nursing is and the companies that are out there that hire travel nurses. However I don't understand what agency nursing is and where to go to get hired as an agency nurse. Where do you find these agencies? Can you pick what hospitals or what floors to work on or do you randomly get sent to all sorts of hospitals and all sorts of floors? If anybody can clarify what the deal is w/ agency nsg it would be appreciated. I'm still just 4 months in as a new grad but I'm thinking about what to do after a year or so- go to ICU for experience, go back to school, or travel/do agency for a while so I can pay off school loans quicker. Thanks in advance for any knowledgable replies.

Specializes in Peds Homecare.

:) Hi, I work for an agency...I do high tech peds homecare. The agency I work for is located close to my home. Travel nursing is just what it travel, although I do believe that at times, if the need is there, some people work for travel agencies right in their own hometown. Agency work is usually located in close proximity to you. Agency's also do staff relief in facilities located by them. The requirement at the agency I work for is one year of hospital experience. Also agency work does not include extra's such as lodging, either totally paid for , or at a very low cost. Hope this explains things a little bit. If you have more questions just ask and I will try to answer them. :D Have a great day. Bye :) Also as far as assignments go it's what the need is and your experience and qualifications.

Specializes in Critical care.


I have been working for agency since JAN, I work in ICU. There are many agencies out there, try search on with nursing agencies. To name few- Favorite Nurses, PPR, Interim, Nursefinders, StaffRelief. There are also many travel agencies, some which are also local agency providers like Favorite Nurses and PPR also has travel assignments, I am sure if you look in your town you will find many to choose from. And yes most require one year of hospital exp. I pick which hospitals I work at and where I work in my case I only work ICU, I choose not to do med/surg or tele or longterm, etc. If the hospital does not need me in ICU the agency cancels me, and I can go work at what used to be my fulltime job in the cath lab. I stayed on as pool nurse in the cath lab at my last hospital, for many reasons this being one. As a new grad. after your year of hospital exp. you can choose what you'd like to do. I worked in hospital setting for 5 years before I went back to school for MSN degree, and went back school to make me more marketable. I am a true believer in education, so I say go back to school, even if it is part time. If you are single, etc, and have no ties keeping you where you are then I would consider travel nursing for a year, it would be a great exp. I knowat least 5 nurses who have been traveling for 2-3 years and they love it, they have been everywhere form Seattle to Sarasota to Boston, to San Francisco. I also suggest getting ICU exp if you like that type of nursing it will always look good on resume...Good luck....

Specializes in Everything except surgery.


I have been an Agency nurse for 20+ years, and I have worked just about every area there is! ICU/CCU/NICU/L&D/Nursery/Med-Surg/Tele/Outpt Surg/Morhs Surg/Trauma ER/Occpt Health...the list goes on. It was through the agencies, that I received most of my experience, after working L&D/and NICU, at a county hospital.

While working at this hospital, a nurse came thru the L&D, and told us about doing agency work. Advised me to get one years experience, and then go for it! I did, and I have never been sorry!

For the last 10yrs, I have been a travel nurse. I'm currently in Seattle, but I have been from one end of the country to the other end. My housing is totally paid for, except my phone, and cable. But I have had assignments where even that was paid for! I have even had maid service provided! I have a webpage, you could visit if you're interested in Travel, and I can reccomend several agencies, depending on where you are.

But you will need one years of acute care experience. Several of the post gave excellent information of agencies. But let me say, that there are agencies, that will pay your travel expenses, such as placing you in a hotel, while you do per diem, if you travel a ways from you home. Say you travel 50 miles from home, and want to do several days work. The agency would place you in a hotel, and pay for your travel to the hospital, and back.

I always say what areas I want to work at, and stick to my guns, if they offer anything I don't want, or anywhere I don't want to go to. I have used agency/per diem work, to check out a hospital before I take a contract with them. This way, I have an idea of what to expect, before signing on the dotted line, for the industry standard of 13 weeks.

Before you travel, or sign with an agency, check out, and "interview" several, and they can very greatly with pay, and benefits. Yes, you can have benefits, and work agency also. Most require that you work at least 32 hrs a week. Some agencies require you pass a test for each area you wish to work in. Some hospitals require you have IV cert., and even ACLS, just to work on med-surg floors. I would definitely get some ICU experience before starting to work Agency, as most of the time, there is a great need in these areas.

I hope this helps!web page

I have worked agency on and off for three years. I DON'T do ICU. Mostly tele, med/surg, ortho, neuro, trauma. I would like to do L/D. Talk to the agency nurses with whom you work. In most large cities there are a bunch of agencies to choose from. I worked many different areas in the beginning and narrowed it down to the ones I'm willing to return to. I don't do long term care. I have heard from other agency nurses the best place to work is ICU.

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