Why are you working for an agency?

  1. Traveling RNs: I believe you know your agency charges 1.5 to 2 times what it pays you. Could you find your own accommodation etc with the extra $? Of course. So why are you not an independent contractor? You could work fewer hours for the same pay (and enjoy that CA sunshine) or work longer hours and earn some really appropriate $. Do you really want to pay for a wimpy administrator/office clerk at the agency out of your hard-earned education and labor?

    It's easier than it sounds to become an independent and if you have the skills and savvy to be a travel nurse, then you can do this too. Facilities are opening up to unusual approaches from RNs. Choose somewhere you would like to work and approach them with your carefully thought out contract. See the nurse entrepreneur topic area on this site or independentrn.com for really useful information from nurses already doing this. There's even a sample contract available. Empower yourselves.
  2. Visit JNJ profile page

    About JNJ

    Joined: Dec '02; Posts: 145; Likes: 12


    I dont mind paying somoene to be my lip service, when I come for an assignment all I want to do is put my luggage down in my new apartment, with furniture and cable and a phone, unpack and go explore the town. In 2 days start my job, which I have all details on and its to everything I agreed to and at the price inwhich I will work for. Do my job come home and have no worries, if there is a problem I call the person (my recruiter) put it on there desk and walk away. Taken care of as far as Im concerned.
    I dont have to worry about insurance, housing, bills, or anything else except what I need to do tomorrow at the hospital when I go to work, and what to do afterwards when I get off work. I like the ability to not think about the trival crap I worry about that when Im negotiating I dont want to think about it any other time.
    Thats why the company gets the money they get. I know what Im worth and I get it, I also know that the company pays for my perks which comes out of the money that an independent would get, but it would be about the same as if I hire an assistant, to take care of the trival stuff that I dont want to take care of myself.
    Thats why I work for a company because I like having things handled for me, if I wanted to handle them myself then when would I have time to enjoy my assignment.
  4. by   OBNurseShelley
    I agree ZOE!
  5. by   gypsyangelrn
    Thanks for the info JJ. Sounds intreguing....nothing like cutting out the middle man!

    I'm definitely going to look into it! :roll

    A frugal, hungry fox!!
  6. by   JNJ
    Zoe and Shelley - I'm pleased to hear that you feel you get a good deal by using an agency, but you might be very surprised to know just how much money some independent travelers are earning. The other side is why you travel and if you do it for the cultural integration/experience or want it all sanitized to some extent. I'm not criticizing, just wanting to broaden the Travel Nurses discussion a little; non-travelers might not realize there are many motivations for travel nursing and ways other than thru an agency to be a traveling nurse.

    (Incidentally I'm an independent RN who has nursed in Iran, Beirut, UK, France, Germany, and the USA - the majority without an agency involvement. ).
  7. by   sassyfrassy
    What hourly amounts do independent nurses make or rather how much should you ask for?
  8. by   Astro
    You also have to remeber that a lot of hospitals do not want to deal with a bunch of independant contracts. They are being more selective now these days.
  9. by   renerian
    I did it as an independent for home health and hospice consulting for almost 3 years. The taxes, social security taxes, insurance for my rental space and malpractice rider for a business was killing me. Not to mention the space rent, business phone was killing thr profit. Now if you did not have to do the space and phones which you most likely would not you would still have to do all your own taxes which I thought was a pain in the royal behind. I am sure it works for some people. When I did traveling nursing in home health, I just wanted to go to the spot on the map, get in and rest until I started in 2 days. Was worth it for me. JMHO

  10. by   JNJ
    Sassyfrassy: Pay rates for independent nurses vary, as do regular pay rates, throughout the country, according to demand and the RNs available to meet that demand. If you are offering ICU, NICU, OR or something of this expertise/experience or are willing to work in underserved inner city areas, you are looking at pay rates starting around $65 per hour and climbing above $100 for certain areas, expertise, shifts etc. Working in the sun/fun in med/surg may not go higher than that.

    Find out where the agencies are staffing (state/city/and specialty areas) and what they are paying their own nurses. Plan on negotiating 1.5 to twice that amount. Independents are not trying to undercut the agency/traveling nurse - just willing to do a little more on their own to earn more in order to be able to disperse income as they wish.

    You will note that many agency nurses do not mind 'paying' the agency to do the ground work for their accommodation etc. But do not overlook that you can be an independent while remaining where you are. Business licenses and taxes take very little of my time and I like the idea/feeling of doing these things for myself. Because I earned more, I worked a little less and so taking a half day a month to sort out this sort of thing was fine with me.

    The National Assoc. of Ind. Nurses (NAIN) has a wealth of info available at independentrn.com, but membership is needed to access the intelligent, fact based, supportive forum. (No, I am not an officer of this org. - I just believe that one of the ways RNs will move into appropriate professional standing and pay is by being independent - as are many PTs, OTs, music therapists, dietitians, CPAs, etc etc.)

    There are many appropriate ways to be an RN and earn a respectable living commensurate with training, education, experience and expertise. My experience with independence seems to be rather different from others. I'd like to encourage others to look at independent nursing and find out for themselves. Power to us all!
  11. by   Astro
    Dont bother trying to get a independent contract with a HCA facility that deals with AAS. Wont happen.
  12. by   litepath
    Dear JNJ,
    Thanks for the insightful posts dating in Dec. I emailed the NAIN and they are mailing me info for free. Even tho I am just about to graduate and will probably work the floors for the experience, I have a feeling that independent contracting will be a wave of the future tho still only a crossectional percent of the workforce. Would you please email me about finding opportunities for nursing abroad. I owned business in my past professions and feel that independent contracting would probably suit me well. Thanks to all others that post here. I love the site.

  13. by   eddy
    Originally posted by Astro
    You also have to remeber that a lot of hospitals do not want to deal with a bunch of independant contracts. They are being more selective now these days.
    Have to agree with that. In fact, the current trend seems to be using a primary provider having all the other agencies subcontract through them. It is an awfullllll lot of hassle for hospitals to keep hundreds and hundreds of seperate contracts for independants. I just don't see how it's feasible on a large scale, but that's just me.
  14. by   JNJ
    Astro and Eddy:
    Yes you are right, there are many facilities that are not (yet) hiring independent contractors. These tend to be the facilities that do not (yet) have too much of a hiring problem for whatever reason that may be.

    However, there are many success stories at independentrn.com where RNs with tenacity have eventually broken thru some of the classic strongholds such as major healthcare provider groups, children's hospitals, etc. The HR dept. may be very much against the paperwork of independent contracts, but if the nurse manager knows of a good RN who is available, he or she will put pressure on HR to break thru this barrier. It's happening as I write, across the country.

    Independents are blazing the trail that will lead to better working conditions and appropriate pay for all nurses. Work with us, not against us, please. We are not out to undercut anyone in any part of your working lives. We choose control over more parts of our lives than being an employee usually provides and are willing to do what's necessary to achieve that. That's all. No threat to you.

    As previously posted, if you have expertise, experience etc in an in-demand specialty area, it is easier to find work as an independent. However let's remember the postings at the Nurse Entrepreneur part of this web site - there are success stories there from LVNs providing basic care services independently and loving the autonomy.

    If you think you can or think you can't - either way you are right! Ford, I believe.

    JNJ - independent over 3 continents, 3 states and many years.