Agency Nursing

  1. I have only been in Nursing for 9 months. I am miserable in my current job situation. For one, I need more pay with the bills I have and am not concerned about benefits. I was wondering if someone could tell me how my chances would be working med-surg through an Agency. Would it be too difficult going in all the unfamiliar work areas with only the short amount of experience I have? Thanks in appreciation.
  2. Visit Darlene Jones profile page

    About Darlene Jones

    Joined: Nov '99; Posts: 16


  3. by   Blue11RN
    Darlene, You may want to stick it out where you are for at least another 3 months until you have your one year in. Most agencies won't touch you until you at least one year med-surg so you will have that experiences you need to fall back on. If it will be diffcult or not on you working in a unfamiliar work area, depends on how you can adjust to new situations and how fast you can too. Out in the field you are it for the most part, so that is where your experience helps. So, if you can hold on just a few more months, you will have the world open up to you. Good luck.
  4. by   Roach
    I have been an ER nurse for 7 years and recently went to work in IMC/Tele. I couldn't believe how easy it was to adapt to another unit. I caught on surprisingly quick. I expected to have a really hard time. I then realized how all my experience really paid off at that moment. I recently got hired at an agency which will pay twice what I made as a full time staff nurse. I also feel ready to do it now. Don't push yourself too quickly. Learn as much as you can so you can have more opportunities later. It will all pay off. (I did the same thing with my bills also.) Try to work that out. Try working a few shifts w/an agency before you jump in. They really do want one year experience though. Good luck. Don't give up!

  5. by   dinorn
    darlene please get more experience! i have been nursing for four years and recently started agency nursing at a large teaching hospital. i have found the regular fulltime staff resent agency nurses - they feel we are making the big bucks and therefore give us the most difficult patients. if there is a patient on the unit that is most likely to code we get him...if there is someone in isolation we get him...someone who is confused,in restraints,having dt's... yep we get them. we have complained to our manager to no avail. we have some nurses that refuse to go to certain units where they feel they have been abused. we are on our own - the fulltime staff are not there to train us. so please get more experience. if your hospital floats nurses to other units, volunteer, it is a good way to expand your knowledge.i work fulltime at a different hospital and do agency nursing a few nights a month. the pay is great - $33.00/hr for nights,no benefits except 401k an agency nurse i have worked on med/surg, neuro, postop, and ortho units. good luck to you!
  6. by   iamme8557
    Please give yourself some time to acquire experience. 2 years is really better, there are other jobs out there besides being a nurse to supplement your income while you gain the experience you will need to work as an agency nurse. Imagine 1/2 hour orientation then you are in charge or the only RN on the floor......nights in a nursing home will have you being the only RN. Please dont burn yourself out or jeapordize your license for the cash. If you do go agency now, ask very specific questions of the responsibilities you will have.
    The Med/Surg crap is only deeper where they use agency nurses often...please be careful.
    I have been a nurse for 8 years, I worked in some difficult situations in hospitals. Started out in Med/Surg and was in charge as a GN...understaffing led to that day from hell. I had a discussion with the supervisor before I accepted that responsibility and she signed a statement written by me of our discussion and my skills and responsiblities legally as a GN etc. I wont 'burn" for the sake of a facility....dont do something you are not comfortable with...and be sure to document or "GO HOME" if no one in authority will deal with this appropriately.
    I work ICU now, have been a critical care flight nurse and have worked as a travel nurse in Trauma, Open Heart, Neuro and ICU.
    In reality, the first couple years of our "working time" as Nurses is the completion of our schooling.
  7. by   rn2468
    Been doing agency for several years, but started doing only agency for the past year. It allows me to work essentially part time since the pay is higher. You do have to be flexible, esp. if you end up going to differant hospitals. It is a really good deal if you can go to the same hospital for a long stay or better if you go to the same floor over and over. You learn, like the other poster said here, that you run into a lot of resentment from the full time staff but you also learn to get "thick skin". Most agency nurses learn really quick, "go to work, do your job, and go home". You are not there to be anyone's buddy, if they choose to have an attitude while you are there, it is their problem, not yours. You are there to care for the pts, do your job, and get paid. Many times there is so much attitude you start to hear re: a place before you go there...that is when not only can a place not keep full time staff but agency won't go back, either. Listen to other agency nurses..they know where to go and NOT to go.
    Many agencies are now offering health insurance and vacation days <to stay competitive and keep nurses>. Agency nurses speak with their feet. If an agency is not getting shifts for nurses or don't support the nurses, they walk right over to another agency with better support and bennies.
    It is good to get at least a year experience
    as staff. Take what you learn and go agency.
    JUST remember that many hospitals have a policy that once you quit and go agency, you arenot allowed BACK in that facility for 6 months to a year. So you have to go to other
    facilities in town when you first start agency work. Pay runs from 25/hour for Med surg to around 32-33 for ICU. Ask re: the agency's overtime policy...some will not get you hours if you reach the 40 hour mark, others will if the hospitals agree to use you. Then you end up making 45-50/hour.
    You'd be surprised...when they are REALLY short staffed, they will use you even at that rate. BUT....keep in mind there are slow times for agency may want to stay PRN or float pool at a facility as a safety net in case the agency work is slow. If you are flexible and do several areas, though, you are more likely to stay busy...eap. if you will do evenings, nights, or weekends!
    Good Luck