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Do you recommend agency nursing for nurses going back into the field?


Specializes in Instructor of Nursing and Med/surg nurse. Has 13 years experience.

Thinking of agency nursing and I have done this in the past, but working part time (very little) thinking of working more hours to keep up my skills. Do you think this would be harder or easier for nurses who are wanting more hours?

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

If the agency is JCAHO accredited, they will send you only to places where you have recent experience. By "recent" they mean within the past year.

The pros are that you could pick up shifts when it would suit you to do so. The cons are that they can cancel you at the last minute, when you were counting on that shift.

Your best bet would be to contact some of the agencies in your area and talk to them.

Agency nurses often complain about their shifts being cancelled "at the last minute".

Damion Jenkins, MSN, RN

Specializes in NCLEX Prep Expert - 100% Pass Rate!. Has 11 years experience.

On 8/2/2020 at 10:20 PM, Blackcat99 said:

Agency nurses often complain about their shifts being cancelled "at the last minute".

This really depends on the relationship that the nurse develops with the facility and their agency. When I worked agency, I ALWAYS got the shifts while others were cancelled. The only times I would get cancelled is if ALL of the agency nurses got cancelled due to low census (and in those cases, even regular staff were sent home). That would only be on a rare occasion. 

I made a point to get to know the staff as if I worked for the facility. It is very possible to work as an agency nurse and be part of the fabric that makes the team. Those facilities kept trying to hire me, but they couldn't match what I was making and would require that I work a set schedule. 

That wasn't going to work for me, so instead, I became one of their favorites and always got the shifts I wanted. 


Specializes in LTC.

Damion - you reminded me of a LTC place I worked where there 3 terrific LPNs on my shift. It took me about 3 months to realize they were AGENCY, they were scheduled so often. As the new supervisor, I didn't have to worry when they worked, so I was really surprised when I found out their 'secret identities'. They fit in so well .....


Edited by amoLucia

Leader25, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 38 years experience.

Agency nursing could be a way to find your best job,you get to sample a variety of places on your own terms,I did a stint in with various assignments,and when I didn't like the supv I could refuse a repeat assignment .It was nice to be tapped on the shoulder and told to go to lunch,and even leave on time.It is better than floating at a place you dislike anyway.