As an LPN, you might wish you could spend a little time at a variety of places before settling down to something more permanent. Entities called nursing agencies or registries may be a good place to start your career. These agencies provide temporary health care staff to a variety of institutions. Nursing agencies are private businesses. Medical facilities hire personnel from these facilities when their staff members take vacations or when in busy periods of the year, such as the holidays. In general, LPNs here work by contract. They are assigned to various facilities for various lengths of time. This is a great way to sample a wide variety of LPN jobs. There are even agencies that specialize in travel nurse jobs, allowing a nurse to see the country and get paid while doing so.
Therefore, an LPN can try a variety of institutions and nurse jobs. Often institutions hire someone temporarily to see if he or she would be a good fit for a position. This opportunity can also give an advantage to a temp LPN when a permanent position opens.
An LPN needs to be aware of several things when working this type of career. First, one is at the agency’s mercy. Since this is a private business, assignments, pay, and/or benefits can vary from state-funded business norms. Nursing agencies are outside the established medical institutions and system. Contracts are unique agreements regarding how the business expects you to perform and what it will pay in return. There are no guarantees that you will get contracts on a regular basis. You also may have little say on what institution and contract you are assigned.
As a licensed LPN you must make sure any agencies or positions respect the limitations of your license. Never perform a function you are not licensed to perform, no matter how much pressure is put on you. Be careful what agencies you work for and be diligent about establishing your nursing ethics with contract institutions. Check out an agency’s credentials and length of time in business. Talk to other nurses that have used temporary services. See if an agency has a process for dealing with nurses’ complaints about assignments.
With the right agency, this type of nursing career can be extremely rewarding.
Last Updated: 08/20/2013
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