Back in the early 90's I worked agency. I loved it! Some of the hospitals did have orientation, you were required to arrive 2 hours early of your first shift at that facility, and a short orientation was given on the floor you were to work. At LTC facilities the would have a packet you were required to read and sign off on that you understood the info.
There were MANY times at the LTC facilities I would arrive and the nurse I was relieving would say "here is your hall, this is your cart, here are your keys, here is the 24 hour report sheet, if you have any questions the aides can help you" and attempt to leave! I would have to make them sit down and give me a run through on the report sheet and count the narcotics!
Even though there were times it was sink or swim, I still loved it. I was sent to places that afforded me the opportunity to get expierince I would have never gotten by being staff nurse in one place.