Are things picking up for agency nurses?

  1. I got a call from a new recruiter from an agency I had done one shift for last year. I had had a very negative experience and felt like the former recruiter was highly unscrupulous. According to this fellow they have all new staff. I had a very frank discussion with him about my previous dissatisfaction with the former recruiter.

    He told me that things are picking up for agencies from a few months ago. I told him the hospitals that I would be interested in working with and explained that I really needed to have honest, ethical communication and trust with any agency I worked with.

    I'm currently very happy with my per diem job, I make good pay equivalent to agency pay, but would be interested in the variety that I would experience working for various facilities.

    Has anyone else heard that agency nursing is picking up? Is this due to people wanting time off for summer vacations?
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    About FireStarterRN

    Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 5,292; Likes: 7,635
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    Specialty: 15 year(s) of experience in LTC, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU, Tele

    9 Comments

  3. by   kids
    In the PDX metro area, in a word...nope.
    It's worse now than it was 3 months ago. My hospital cancels 90% of the agency nurses it books in favor of our own staff. I can't remember the last time a nurse in my ER turned down the opportunity for an OT shift.
    My friend has done SNF/ICF staffing as a full time job for the last 3 years has worked 6 shifts in 5 weeks. And her preference is for nights and weekends.
  4. by   pagandeva2000
    I am hearing that our hospital is limiting the number of agencies they are using-it used to be at least 4, now, it has narrowed down to two; and these are not the same two that have been used by our facility for years. And, to boot, some of the nurses are complaining that they are not getting paid properly. They work a week, get paid for two days, etc... some report not having been paid for three weeks. I think this is due to two major hospitals closing a few months ago and a surplus of nurses with no place to go.
  5. by   SoundofMusic
    One one occasion, I heard agency is still going for government hospitals. If you have a lot in your area, as we do, it can be a good thing. Of course, I know absolutely nothing about what the assignments are like.

    Our hospital brags it has cut out 90% of its travelers.

    I find this good for the hospital, but bad for nurses who would like to advance their lot in life. It amounts to a reduction in the potential of your pay and a taking of all the nice benefits of travel nursing. I think it's a strike against nurses, IMO. I hate it when our DON gets up and smiles that she's cut out all travelers -- it's like, Thanks -- get you still get YOUR great salary, but now many nurses have had to take pretty large pay cuts to remain as staffers.

    Then again -- they gave a lot of our travelers staff positions and started THEM out at a higher pay grade -- sort of demeaning to the nurses who had to do all the work to climb the clinical ladder by writing papers, doing research, organizing events, etc. as part of the requirements.

    I just don't see it as good. I think this "economy" was a great opportunity for hospitals to strike a huge blow against the travel industry. I understand it's all about the bottom line, and supposedly our hospital lost a lot in the stock market declines -- but I don't feel it bodes well for nurses at all.
  6. by   FireStarterRN
    Thanks for the answers. I was suspicious that this guy might be feeding me a line of BS.

    Basically, my per diem job is absolutely ideal. I get all the hours I want in 4 different units, with my home base unit being tele. I'm on great terms with nurses on all 4 units and fill in for them as needed. Staffing is easy to work with, I just give them the days I want to work and they plug me in. I'm also flexible about pinch hitting as needed. I work mostly days. My pay is just about as good as agency nursing, over $40 hourly.

    My desire to pick up some agency would be to broaden my horizons in a large metropolitan area, create a niche, and maybe pick up another per diem job eventually.
  7. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from FireStarterRN
    Thanks for the answers. I was suspicious that this guy might be feeding me a line of BS.

    Basically, my per diem job is absolutely ideal. I get all the hours I want in 4 different units, with my home base unit being tele. I'm on great terms with nurses on all 4 units and fill in for them as needed. Staffing is easy to work with, I just give them the days I want to work and they plug me in. I'm also flexible about pinch hitting as needed. I work mostly days. My pay is just about as good as agency nursing, over $40 hourly.

    My desire to pick up some agency would be to broaden my horizons in a large metropolitan area, create a niche, and maybe pick up another per diem job eventually.
    Don't trust that guy and stay put until you find the ideal situation. We here in allnurses cannot have you wandering around starting fires all over the darned place if you don't have steady work at a place that you like...:typing
  8. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from pagandeva2000
    Don't trust that guy and stay put until you find the ideal situation. We here in allnurses cannot have you wandering around starting fires all over the darned place if you don't have steady work at a place that you like...:typing




    I wasn't thinking of giving up my per diem job but maybe picking up a few shifts elsewhere. I was suspicious at getting this call out of the blue with the claim that agency work is picking up. From what I see the hospitals are cutting back on using agency.
  9. by   hope3456
    I work at a rural hospital (wyo)- a traveler I am working with told me that in the 9 years she has been doing this - she has never seen it so slow and this is the only time she has had trouble getting assignments. She said that her agency - when posting a job online - will get about 60 apps in only a couple hours!

    She is not being renewed with my hospital b/c we recently hired a couple new graduates from out of state who couldn't get jobs where they lived - so we are now fully staffed.
  10. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from FireStarterRN




    I wasn't thinking of giving up my per diem job but maybe picking up a few shifts elsewhere. I was suspicious at getting this call out of the blue with the claim that agency work is picking up. From what I see the hospitals are cutting back on using agency.
    The only people that can handle your fires are us...stay put! Seriously, though, it is an upsetting thing. Many of our agency nurses had to convert to the few that are left, but I hear that what is happening now is that once they sign over, their salaries go down, which makes them awfully upset (understandably so).
  11. by   wearingmanyhats
    in one word>???????

    NO

    I have worked agency for 19 yrs... there were intermittent times where for a few weeks, I would start to question whether I should look for a permanent position... but about the time I set out to do it, there were plenty of shifts to keep me busy (if I can get 3 a week, I am able to pay my bills...)

    Since late last year, shifts have become fewer and fewer... most of the regular staff have experienced spouses losing hours if not jobs... so.... fewer shifts for agency

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