Published Dec 15, 2003
What are everyone's thoughts on staffing agencies?
TiffyRN, BSN, PhD
I have worked as a staff nurse, PRN (or per diem) on staff, traveler and agency nurse so I think I have a good broad view.
I understand the great challenge of an agency nurse trying to find their way in a new place. I understand having to pick up after an agency nurse that just couldn't get everything done because he/she spent so much time figureing the place out. I have heard of agency nurses being dumped on for assignments but I never felt that way when I was agency or traveler but maybe I was lucky. I have heard the complaints and resentment from staff nurses that not as much gets done with an agency nurse yet the hospital is paying 2-3 times their wages to the agency.
I have worked at hospitals that decided to stop using agency and it can work if they do it right. Pumped up bonus programs have been the most beneficial that I've seen. Something like $500 to $1000 for so many extra shifts worked in so many weeks. It winds up being cheaper to the hospital than paying for the agency nurses.
That is really helpful. I have had my doubts at times. I've heard from both sides but the majority of nurses I talk with think it's a great way to be flexible and still earn enough to support yourself or your family.
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