Various experiences to the Table

Specialties Agency


I am just curious what variety of experiences you all bring to agency nursing that help you. I assume the best background is ICU/Med Surg/Geriatrics etc. I saw a couple of posts from new or nearly new grads doing agency nursing. I think I would be a little nervous trying it without some experience, but how much experience do you all experienced nurses recommend?

I am an elementary school nurse last 3 years. Also responsible for staff, did a year of Women's health/Women's med surg/a bit of research nursing and a few months of home health nursing with emphasis on medicare (mostly wounds). Just backed off that job (was only doing 1 wknd/mo) because I find it too difficult to work a full time stressful job and a weekend job. Those weeks of 12 days in a row kill me. 47 yrs old now and get too tired without a day off to refresh!

Are most agency assignments in general hospital areas such as Med/surg, ICU or do they place you according to your experience? The HH agency I just quit put me in some areas I had never had experience in before like would packing. They said it was easy and anyone could do it! Another reason I backed off for now, no time to train on new things and they didn't pay to train past 3 follow alongs at the beginning with another nurse.

Thanks for any of your imput!


615 Posts

I work med-surg through agency and at a hospital that I know.

I would only work where I felt comfortable. For myself, I would refuse if they tried to send me to ICU or any other unit, or the ER for example.

For the agency, (the hospital gets a copy), I had to fill out a skills check list and they really shouldn't be sending me to an area where I am not skilled, but they will if they can get away with it, the hospital gets the staff and the agency gets the money.

Just know what you feel comfortable doing and refuse to do anything else.

I think most agencys require a year of acute care experience.

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