best about agencies

  1. i'm interested in what would be the perfect agency. if this was a perfect world what would you look for in an agency? i'm considering opening my own and a would really like to attract good nurses by making them love working for me. so come on folks, live a little and tell me your dream job (with an agency of course)

    thanks in advance
    a wanna be entrepreneur
  2. Visit burntnurse profile page

    About burntnurse

    Joined: Jan '03; Posts: 10
    hospital/nursing home/whatever staffing


  3. by   Laura C
    Originally posted by burntnurse
    i'm interested in what would be the perfect agency. if this was a perfect world what would you look for in an agency? i'm considering opening my own and a would really like to attract good nurses by making them love working for me. so come on folks, live a little and tell me your dream job (with an agency of course)

    thanks in advance
    a wanna be entrepreneur

    I am new to am currently working agency looking to travel...I have heard that once you travel, you wonder where you have been all your life in nursing. I have talked with alot of travelers and you hear all sorts of stories ie: hospital employees do not like travelers and they treat you mean.... what is your experience as a traveler or agency nurse
  4. by   burntnurse
    hi laura
    thanks for responding. i myself have never traveled but i have worked with travelers. it's a great way to see the country, but it can be a long 3 months if you end up in an assignment you hate. that's my fear. and i wouldn't want to go alone. i did meet two older nurses who were friends and took assignments and lived together. they would work 2 doubles and one single shift a week. that left them plenty of time to see the sites.
    as far as how travelers and agency nurses are treated; well i've been treated fairly well but i have been taken advantage of too. the advantage of being agency is you just don't go back. somehow the facilities never understand that. i find it happens more often in hospitals than nsg homes. i have my own philosophy. i go to work to work but not to be a sucker or martyr. i put one foot in front of the other for 8 hours and at the end what's done is done; what's not is not. my goal is to keep my patients safe and comfortable and make sure the count is correct. beyond that is the facility's problem. if you can do that and stay out of the politics you should have no problems. anyway it works for me.
    i just checked your profile. and no i don't think ANYONE is really taking the shortage seriously. if they were there woulk be changes. have you seen any? me either. we still are not suppossed to have a life; work our butts off and not talk back; and be responsible for everyone and everything. people have allready died because of the shortage. what's it gonna take?

  5. by   Laura C
    Thanks for your reply. This is why i decided to go agency about a year ago. To get out of hospital politics. I think there are problems everywhere. I do very much enjoy going to work and doing my job to the best of my ability. We had a situation the other night where one of the staff nurses stated " let the agency nurse take care of the problem, she makes the big bucks" I turned to her and told her that I would be glad to take care of the problem that I was qualified to do that and that as for as being agency, that it is anyones decision where and who they work for. And I left it at that. So now she talks to me about wanting to travel with I hope to have my first assignment soon in California...And it is not that they pay big bucks, their overtime laws are different, and it allows you to make more money..........
  6. by   burntnurse
    hi laura
    when i get flack about money i ask if they get vacation pay, sick pay, health insurance and the like BECAUSE I DON'T. i pay my own health insurance, so i make sacrifices to have my freedom. that usually shuts them up. i guess your more tolerant that i am.
    so what is the best and worst of your agency? what would you change and what would leave the same? my dtr and s-i-l are doing prelimenary research on what it take to open an agency of our own. what would it take to recruit you if you lived up here in old new england?


    p.s. i love horses too
  7. by   Laura C
    Hi Susan,
    I uess the most important thing in an agency is the recutier. Knowing that they are trying to place you in a good job or a job that they like or area that they are comfortable..I am very flexable. My recutier is very attentive. We talk almost everyday. I do don't know my recutier personally but I think of him as my good friend and I know that he is doing everything to place me in a good job. I have never been out of Mississippi and I am willing to leave for the money to help my family. I have 3 boys in college and WOW is it killing me. They can not get finincal help because their partent supposely make too muxh money. But being available for the nurse is really a good thing..My resuiter says that I can call him and ask him what size tire to put on my car and he would help me and I believe him....
  8. by   eddy
    Oh no... Don't even attempt to open an agency unless you have at least a million bucks to play with. It's much more complicated than you think. Plus unless you know proper accounting, HR laws, management, marketing, are able to SELL to facilities, etc. you WILL fail. Most nurses are not equipped for this and end up losing everything because they thought "I'm a nurse, surely I can do it better than those big companies." Wrong. Those big companies have everything you don't. Experts at every level of the game, huge pockets, and the desire to put you out of business the day you start.

    Do agency work. Become your own agency of one (be an independant contractor), but don't try to open an actual agency. I promise you, you will lose everything... unless you are VERY VERY VERY lucky.
  9. by   burntnurse
    well EDDY i think your response presumes an awful lot; like i'm a "total idiot" which, beleive me, i am not.
    sounds like sour grapes to me. tell me did you try and fail?
  10. by   eddy
    Originally posted by burntnurse
    well EDDY i think your response presumes an awful lot; like i'm a "total idiot" which, beleive me, i am not.
    Yikes! Sorry to ruffle your feathers. I am not saying you are a "total idiot", so please refrain from trying to put words in my mouth. I come to this board for intelligent discussion, not to flame.

    I have a background in accounting and finance prior to my jump into nursing. I have been a CFO, controller, financial analyst, and now only do private work for some clients (for fun). I have experience in startups, and I know the kind of resources (financial or otherwise) required for such a venture.

    I think it is safe to say that your response "presumes an awful lot" as well... so let's call it a draw. :kiss

    sounds like sour grapes to me. tell me did you try and fail? [/B]
    Nope, I have never tried and have no desire to do so. I did the research though, and that is why. At one time I too thought it was a great idea. I have read the books (they are terrible and talk of unrealistic profits... misleading at best). I have also seen a year's worth of office P&L's from a mom & pop agency that I did taxes and payroll for. FYI - I only saw a year's worth because that was how long they lasted before losing everything (house, cars, retirement, everything!) just as I told them would happen at month 2. From a financial and RISK stand point it is an incredibly ignorant investment. However, I won't leave it at that. Let's take a look at costs.

    - Licensing (County, City, State)
    - Cost of Incorporating (you better! Lest you wish to risk being sued for your personal assets!)
    - Liability Insurance (will cost anywhere from $10k-50k yearly for a single office depending on risk your assesment, which agency tends to be very high... duh)
    - Rent - $500-2000 depending on market
    - Advertising (to recruit)
    - Advertising (to market services)
    - Office Equipment - Computers, fax machines, printers, phone systems, file cabinets, desks, etc., etc., etc. will cost about $10k at least I would guess.
    - Payroll Taxes - approx 12% of employee payroll
    - Disposable Office Supplies - paper goods, etc. will run about $500 a month
    - State and Local Income Taxes - cost depends on market
    - Telephone - HUGE cost $800-1000/month I would imagine.
    - Workers Comp Insurance
    - Utilities - guess about $200 a month minimum
    - Entertainment/Marketing - Costs a fortune. Big corporate companies are taking clients out to dinner and buying big gifts, you'll have to do the same.
    - Drug Screens, physicals, Criminal Background Checks
    - License Verifications
    - Tons of other stuff I can't think of off the top of my head...

    Now the REAL big kicker....

    Facilities rarely pay within 30 days. To be paid within this time frame is considered LUCKY. Most will stretch to 45 and many up to 60-90. Of course some will NEVER pay. Since I doubt you have the kind of cash needed to fund a payroll (hundreds of thousands a month if you are just mildly productive), you will have to get a floating credit line. Doh! Now you are paying interest on money OWED TO YOU! Youch!

    While it seems like such a no-brainer that a staffing agency could make a ton of money with those 50% markups, you are not making 50% profit. You are lucky to see a 3% profit (Operating Income/Net Income) off your total revenues. Most agencies will need to do about $120k in revenues per month to see a 3% "profit". This IS somewhat an economies of scale model though, so at about $250k per month you may be seeing about a 7-8% profit.

    To make a long story short, unless you are able to develop a thriving agency business almost overnight you will fail... And unless you have at least a million bucks in cash for initial operating capital, you'll run out of funding and die from the interest you are paying on loans just to float your payroll.

    But by all means.... Go for it. I don't want to come off sounding like a jerk but just from your initial response, I think you may be the one "presuming" too much, as it is pretty clear you haven't done any true research. Maybe you can make it work. :chuckle

  11. by   mattsmom81
    What is my idea of the perfect agency? I can remember my favorite agencies and they all shared similar characteristics:

    Friendly caring staffers who actually listen to the nurse.
    Fair wage, fair treatment, and respect for my personal and
    professional time.

    That means in part they dont pester me with numerous
    repetitive calls, and don't try to wheedle me into doing
    something I've already stated I do NOT want to do.

    I really enjoyed working for nurse owners...they understood.

    One thing I'm discovering with my latest agency is I like working with a 'people person' staffer vs a salesman staffer, and I prefer working in a one staffer office vs 3 (they call me all the time and do not communicate)

    Good luck with your venture...let us know how it goes for you!
  12. by   SirJohnny

    - Really enjoying this thread. It was enlightening to read about the cost of doing business as an agency.

    - Has anyone out here started a "one person" agency. Where you get the business directly for yourself and bypass the agency?

    - What were your experiences?

    - How was the $$?

    - Just wondering. I have seen some websites that claim you can bypass the agency and work directly with the hospital.


    John Coxey
  13. by   nightingale

    Welcome to the BB. (and welcome to all the other newbies that are participating)

    There is another forum, Nurse Entrepreneur, here @ that speaks to this topic you mention. I am currently working as a Vendor to Agencies to pay my business (an S-corp) for compensation. Come visit us and learn more.

    Ps.. I love your kitty on your homepage.. too precious...

    Again.. welcome....
  14. by   eddy
    nightngale has some good advice there. A good way to start is to arrange a subcontract deal with an existing agency. It works to your benefit as you are still working for yourself, AND you have time to establilsh your name before you try to go it alone.

    Great advice!

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