Back to nursing: staff or agency?

  1. So I've taken a long needed sabattical from nursing b/c of some personal issues (health, family's health, etc.) and I plan on going back to work in August. By then it will be 6 months that I've been off. I will only work part-time for now and I'm trying to decide whether to do agency (which I've done before) or find a part-time staff position. Just trying to look at the pros and cons of each and make a decision.

    Currently I have my health insurance through COBRA and I can continue my coverage for another year. It's $263/month, expensive to continue but agency pay is pretty good here (about $50/hr). Though I''m a little nervous about starting back doing agency after not working at all for 6 months. Might be alittle more stressful than usual. The other considerations: I think I'm done w/ nights. It's wrecked havoc on my body and mind in the past, but I wonder if working nights might be a little easier getting back in the swing of things since I haven't worked in awhile.

    My bf, who has been off work since his motorcycle accident (which left him paraplegic) since August. He will be returning to work in August as well, and I toyed w/ the idea of getting a part-time job at the hospital near his work in downtown Chicago. If I could get a daytime position we could carpool together and a part-time staff position would allow me health benefits, so no more $263/month for COBRA.

    What do you guys think?
    Last edit by jadednurse on Jun 28, '03
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    About jadednurse

    Joined: Apr '03; Posts: 1,438; Likes: 14


  3. by   sbic56
    So much is going on with you. I didn't know. How long have you been out of nursing? If you have had it with nights and know that then I'd take a day job if one is available. Days is stressful , but I think working nights and most probably the opposite shirt of your bf would be hard as well. If the stress is still a factor, then taking a staff nurse position over agancy would allow you to ease back in more smoothly. That's my thought on it. Sounds like you have made a lot of changes and progress over the past months. Best of luck in everything.
  4. by   LadyNASDAQ

    I had a car accident in 1994. I have been a Nurse for 24 1/2 years. You should work a shift as a local agency nurse. You have all that valuable info in your head. It went nowhere. I know, after 5 1/2 months off, it was like I worked yesterday, you know what I mean?

    My suggestion is different from all of your alternatives...

    work a shift, period.

    If there is a need there, there is a local contract which will give you lots of $$$ in pocket and yes, contrary to beliefs, staff will help you.

    My advice is go fro max dollars. Pay for a HMO you can afford and get off of COBRA asap. Work ad get some ot if possible and sign up with 3 agencies that will keep you busy, busy, busy!!!
  5. by   jadednurse
    Sbic56, it will be 6 months in August. I HAVE had alot going on which is why I've taken that much time off. I am leaning towards a day position...working opposite shifts of your loved one is stressful

    LadyNASDAQ, I am considering what you mentioned...start w/ one shift and work my way back. I've just never been out of work this long so it's a little scary...
  6. by   mattsmom81
    I was off a year and a half due to injury, surgery, pain, stress etc. I returned successfully to a nights perdiem job in critical care. Just wanted to give you some positive feedback and encouragement... that it CAN be done.

    If agency paid better here I would probably be doing that. We have to weigh out our options. You have to do what works best for you...I find nights easier all around, but not everyone feels that way.

    Good luck to you and let us know how things are going. I know what its like to go through a tough time...good for you and your BF for working through it and moving forward!

    Good thoughts and wishes sent your way.
  7. by   renerian
    I think agency sounds like a good option. Opposite shifts would be very hard.

    Let us know what you decide is right for you.

  8. by   jemb
    My suggestion would be agency. That way, if things need your attention elsewhere, you won't need to beg for time off to handle your personal affairs. Many agencies offer benefits after you've worked a certain number of hours for them, too, so you may have an option for health insurance there as well.

    And if you don't want to work nites, don't do it! There are too many other options right now for experienced nurses.l