The value of agency nurses

Stories - Nurse HatHealthcare Personnel, Inc. has been providing supplemental staffing to hospitals in the Chicago area for the past twenty-two years. Over the years there has been a consistent perception in regard to nursing agencies, claiming that the quality of care provided by supplemental nurses is sub-standard to that of staff nurses.

At Healthcare Personnel, approximately 30% of our nurses choose to work with an agency for the furthering of their career. This could mean elevating from an RN to a Nurse Practitioner or even a doctor. Agency can provide a nurse the opportunity to go above and beyond the requirements for continuing education, aiding in the development and eventual mastering of their skills as a health care provider.

According to a study conducted in 2007, found in The Journal of Nursing Administration (JONA), there is no factual basis that lends support to the claim that supplemental nurses are less-qualified than permanent staff nurses. In fact, the study revealed that supplemental nurses were more likely than staff nurses to have earned a bachelors or higher degree (46% vs. 40%).

Supplemental nurses are as qualified as staff nurses.  They have the ability to work in several settings, enabling them to learn how other hospitals address situations differently, so they are able to experience diversity and later apply this knowledge to everyday practice.

Roughly half of the temporary nurses identified their agency position as second to a primary job as a hospital staff nurse. The data provided in the ‘Supplemental Nurse Staffing in Hospitals and Quality of Care’ (JONA) study shines light on the misconception that nurses employed with an agency will inevitably provide substandard care.

Agency nurses are skilled in their specialty and deserve to be considered as strong supporting partners in meeting the needs of the patient(s).

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