To all agency/registry/prn, and traveling nurses in the U.S. are you ready for this?

Nurses General Nursing


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735 Posts

I can't see Agency nurses haveing to pack their bags anytime soon. The job just isn't appealing to that many people right now.

I have worked agency on and off for years when it was to my benefit.

Now that I am regular staff I have a love/hate relationship with agency (but I have that with regular staff too).

Personally I am glad to have a competent pool nurse come and take over when needed.



1,827 Posts

Ok this topic kind of scares me because I want a nursing job when I'm finished with school. I'm not in nursing school because there is a shortage, rather because I want to be a nurse someday.

If the Govt is going to send people to school to be a nurse and there possibly won't be a need for agency nurses, I will feel kind of foolish when I get out of school and can't find a job.

Some nurses I've spoken with feel that there is no shortage, the hospitals are just making nurses work harder and are not hiring new people to cut costs.

I've been told that there ARE many ads out there for nursing jobs BUT those are the jobs that no one wants usually.

I'm confused and beginning to wonder if I should switch majors.


275 Posts


You will be able to find a job as a staff nurse. That will not be any problem. Now I can not promise that once you find a job that you will see a significant change in income or working conditions for some time to come.

As far as everything else, it depends if experienced nurses come back to regular staff positions or allow themselves to be replaced with future new grads.

The choice of jobs might decrease as far as areas to choose from, but if you are in school right now there should be no problems getting a job.


275 Posts

O.K. today there are much more agency nurses than ever before all. Right now there are a lot of open positions to choose from so there really is no open competitions. As these opening get filled there will be less and less. Either everyone will have to settle for less available hours and that equals less available pay or you will have to go back to regular staff to insure that pay is coming in.

Here is another thing that this legislation is going to pay for. It will pay for remedial classes. This is written in the legislation. In fact almost all the excuses that one can use to avoid this program is covered in the legislation. This even legislation even covers childcare. Remember to get into college or any advanced program all that is needed is a GED. There are already federal and state programs in place which require social service recipients to participate in obtaining their GED.

As far as the time frame, the is dependent of 3 things. The first is how quickly the other legislation is passed on raising the limits of how many foreign nurses can be brought in. The second is how quickly the hospitals catch on to the legislation and begin reopening diploma schools. The third thing is how quickly the hospitals begin to copy the Cleveland Clinic example.

The first indication will be seeing sign on bonuses disappearing and/or being reduced. The second will e seeing agency wages being reduced. There is already an organized effort by hospitals to limit the amount on travel nursing wages. If you know of hospitals that are refusing to use agency nurses for supplemental staffing, then you are already seeing them refusing to pay those wages. The regular staff is working their butts off while there are nurses that would come in and reduce nurse to patients ratios. Some people have reported on other topics that there were beds not opened due to staffing problems or high nurse to patient ratios. Do you really know what the policy about using agency nurses is?

Time will tell. Do you feel lucky enough to take a chance of less hours and pay? If you have bills how much of a chance will you actually take? Will you wait until the last minute and let the chance of a large sign on bonus pass you by? These are all questions you will have to ask yourself.

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With the rising age of the baby boomers and added longevity of people in general and the decreased birth rate, where are these nurses???? Certainly not in Illinois where I work. I go to Chicago occasionally too to work in the ER's there too and on some shifts, there might only be one or two (out of 7-12) RN's that are staff!!

I have worked extensively with foreign-trained nurses (both in the US and overseas) and for the most part feel they do a good job.

Interesting discussion!!


275 Posts

No one ever implied that foriegn nurses were inferior. The only implication is that they will replace nurses who have left or went to agency who are citizens of the U.S. and need income to survive.


238 Posts

Wildtime, I agree that changes in the law allowing increased use of foreign nurses is a real threat. This has already occurred in other fields. For example, the software industry battled for years to change the laws on HB-1 visas so they could use more foreign progammers. I have seen letters in my boyfriend's computer magazines in which native programmers have stated that the employers have exaggerated shortages to Congress, and have refused to hire available native programmers, holding out for cheaper immigrants. While this is only anecdotal evidence, it is interesting.

I have seen news reports about how major cities, such as Chicago and New York are recruiting abroad to fill teaching positions.I believe Chicago actually has a program in which you can gain U.S. citizenship in exchange for a certain number of years teaching.(Source: National Public Radio news, 2001). These cities, due to budget problems, pay teachers salaries that are thousands of dollars less than those offered in the surrounding suburbs, where teaching conditions are usually easier. The teachers' unions have been battling unsuccessfully for higher salaries. A chronic shortage exists. Many inner-city teaching jobs are filled by new grads who flee to the suburbs after a year or two.(Source: New York Teacher's Union newsletter,which my Dad gets). But, rather than raising salaries, which would require unpopular tax increases, they spend our tax dollars on cheap foreign labor.

I believe Oramer is right: Management will find a way to counter the recent rises in nursing wages. I think they will use a variety of means. I just happen to think that foreign workers are probably better candidates to replace us than most welfare recipients. Plus, this program will probably be cheaper in the long run.

My hospital is currently attempting to limit the use of agency nurses, due to rising costs. Your comments, as well as two posts I saw this past week on this board and on the delphi traveler's forum regarding decreased availability of travel positions lead me to wonder if we are part of a trend. Perhaps Nrs-Karen, who always posts interesting links, has a link for this.

I was wondering what your reference to following the Cleveland Clinic model meant. Please explain. Also, it will be interesting to see the ANA's reaction. I wonder if they will flip-flop and become diploma nursing fans?


159 Posts

Originally posted by wildtime88

To all agency/registry/prn, and traveling nurses in the U.S. are you ready for a pay cut and the return to being regular staff?

Wildtime, I'm amazed that you could even remotely consider this as being close to reality. I have watched this website for approxiamately 1 year and have never posted. I'm so certain that you are wrong about this I have joined forces with another R.N. and started our own staffing agency. Every hospital Ive been inside of in the last year has 50 R.N. openings. If I was you I would reexamine my position on this matter. By the way we all know how well the government can administrate any subsidy program. No matter what they try there will not be enough R.N.'s for the next twenty years. Terrible for healthcare but great for my salary.

"I hope and pray that all your dreams unfold before your eye's" (unknown)


275 Posts

This is what is reportedly happening at the Cleveland Clinic and at hospitals close by right now.


75 Posts

Just a thought-

How many nurses out there have gone to agency work because they could no longer stand hospital politics or administration?

For a lot of nurses I know, agency is the last resort to stay in nursing due to the flexibility and lack of politics. -If the agencies dry up, how many more nurses will leave the profession? Once again the government with all its "good" intentions, can screw things up even worse!:rolleyes:


238 Posts

Thanks Wildtime! I read the link. How depressing. This is exactly the kind of thing I fear. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the link in fiestynurse's post to the original article to work,maybe the server was down. I'll try again.


89 Posts

wildtime88, have you taken a look at the california nurse to patient ratio law which takes effect on jan. 1, 2002. Can your hospital meet those guidelines? California is the first state in the nation to force hospitals to meet the needs of their patients above anything else, but I am sure it will not be the last. Our federal government can try to help the nursing shortage with money, but it will take alot more. Hospitals may not like agency nurses like myself, but they are the ones who created the need and fueled the growth. Public outrage with poor staffing levels and poor care will assure the need for agency nurses well past your retirement.

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