Better pay? Flexible hours? - page 2

Is it true that agency nurses recieve better pay and have better hours? I'm totally ignorant when it comes to nursing, haven't started school yet, just basically trying to find out which direction... Read More

  1. by   jhf0174
    Agency CNAs in this area can make up to $18/hr for weekend shifts. Unbelievable, but true. I worked as an agency CNA while going to LPN school. Loved it and now work as an agency LPN. I recommended it to my sister-in-law while she was in LPN school. She worked 1 shift and absolutely hated it. She was evidently expecting guidance and orientation, neither of which is the norm in LTC facilities in this area. It takes someone not afraid to step in and just do it! The basics are the same everywhere. You do need to be able to ask the right questions, though. I have been to a couple of places that I would not go back to, they were so bad. Just finished the shift and RAN! Most places are great. I like the constant change. Never gets monotonous. As an LPN I only make $24/hr agency, though. RNs can make up to $42/hr. Hospitals do generally have a very short orientation, which is more paper than floor. I have found that most nurses are great to me, going above and beyond to explain patients and facility and give a short orientation. I do, however, only work agency 3rd shift and only if there is another nurse on the premises. 36 pts are way too many if I have no back up at all!!! And working only 1 shift makes for much more consistency. And 3rd shift is definitely the easiest.
  2. by   Nursing4me
    I understand the pay is better, but talk to me seriously about the flexibility of the hours? I have kids and my family lives far away. I want to be able to travel to visit for a few weeks at a time. Is that possible or not? Or does it depend on the agency. Agency work sounds ideal if you like a different scene ("can be bounced around") and if you want flexibility with your schedule. Is it really that simple or are there some hiddend downfalls that nobody talks about?
  3. by   nightingale
    Nursing4Me: It can really vary with the flexibility. The pay is usually much better so it makes up for lost hours with call offs.

    Go to a couple of Nursing Agencies in your area and talk wit them. It can really vary with how agnecy staffing is handled and the expectations in your area. I would choose, for starters, a national agency AND a smaller local agency. Get recommendations form colleagues or see who your facility often uses. You may decide you want to work down the street at X facility; talk with the staffing department and see who they use.

    Good Luck and let us know how we may help you.

  4. by   nightingale
    Just took note about your comment:

    Is it really that simple or are there some hiddend downfalls that nobody talks about?
    We talk about many, if not most, of the ups and downs of agency nursing on this board. Agency Nursing IS NOT for everyone, nor should it be. I can not help but remember a rhyme we recited in Sunday school, " what a boring world it would be if everyone wore the color ------!" The kids would shout their favorite color and everyone laughed.

    TAke the time to do your homework, don't quite your day job, research this forum for previously discussed topics or do a search, and then decide if you want to try it first.

    Let us know how we can help you.

  5. by   Sflowerssweeney
    Wow, I don't think I've ever heard such great advice. I know this is a very old post, but great advice on Agency Nursing. I agree that you better have your skills top notch and be confident to be thrown into a scenario that you have no idea what to expect. I've enjoyed agency nurses so much during my clinicals because they were the ones that taught me and paid attention to the "newbie". I guess because they are sort of newbies to the unit too.
  6. by   Nurse_FF_EMT
    My thoughts on Agency Nursing:

    The Pro's: Pay, Freedom, Pick your hours. You have heard and know all the pros. I have worked for my agency for over 1 1/2 years, after trying a couple different hospitals through them I know work pretty much full time at just one hospital for over one year now.

    The Neg's:

    Cancelations: Agency nursing can be pretty seasonal, keep your options open. Many people have more than one agency they work for. I have worked for one of the hospitals for over one year as an agency nurse. They like my work and I am often one of the last agency nurses they cancel.

    Strange Environments: You will be expected to hit the floor running. The hospital I work at full time through my agency has a 3-6 month orientation for new employees. When I came in as agency I got the 30 minute tour. One thing that helps is that if you survive the first couple of shifts, and go back to the same place, you will get to know that hospital as if you are their employee. I have nursing students by now and have to show new nurses and residents where to get stuff, find P&P's etc.

    Staff Nurse Atidude: Many staff nurses do not like new agency nurses. Even though we keep them from having 10 patients to a nurse, they feel they have to waste time showing us where supplies are, answering questions, etc. This also gets better once you go to the same hospital on a regular basis. A couple of months ago I was looking at the assignments for our floor with the other staff nurses when we came in. They started complaining that they were too many agency staff working today. I gave them a look and they laughed and told me "You don't count, you're not agency, you work here."

    Benefits: Some agencies don't have benefits. We get all our benefits through my wife (insurance, etc), so that was not a factor for me.


    Agency has its pro's and con's. Get your experience in, then give it a try. If you do a good job, the clients will be glad to have you back. And if you show the floor staff that they can depend on you, and that you know what you are doing, then pretty soon they won't care if you are agency or not.
  7. by   lannisz
    How do I find a nurse agency or registry? Are they the companies that have per diem?
  8. by   Nurse_FF_EMT
    Quote from lannisz
    How do I find a nurse agency or registry? Are they the companies that have per diem?
    I know that in our area the agency advertises in the newspaper.