Well, here we are on the tail end of 2020.
It’s the year of the rat but also of the right-hook to society called COVID19. This year has brought to media spotlight some industry nuances we are already familiar with. The worst (or best?) nuance being that of staffing agencies pilfering your pay in unscrupulous ways. Whether it be through travel stipends and low hourly rates, off-the-top margin cuts from the actual bill to pay rate, or just having a budding professional negotiating value with a tenured medical professional; temporary nurse staffing agencies have a lot to improve upon.
Our favorite (pun intended) problem to bring awareness to is that of unfair pay and wage laws. Earlier this year Favorite Healthcare Staffing Inc of Kansas City, Kansas has seen the first of what could be multiple federal fines as a result of withholding wages (missing wages, not paying wages, anything you want to call it they had the funds and did not remit contractual payment to the contract nurses).
The state of Florida is paying Favorite Healthcare Staffing $23 million dollars for COVID-19 health care staffing, which includes contact tracers, according to state records and the Florida Department of Health
Barker said she was hired by Favorite Healthcare Staffing to do contact tracing.
“There is complete lack of oversight and a complete lack of accountability,” Barker said.
She said she was put up in hotels for 22 days and paid more than $1,600–but was never given one assignment.
It’s also interesting that an ongoing complaint of the contingent nurses at the agency is that they didn’t have anything to do! Not to feed a fed horse, but this is getting fairly difficult to stomach (more word play) in the industry. Our team sees travel nurses being flown across the country at the expense of hospitals and tax payers, to be paid less than their colleagues, to be left on the bench instead of properly utilized, to have the nurses feel like they’re not contributing to the goals they set down this career path to achieve.
With that out of the way…we can get to business. So how does a nurse choose the right staffing agency?
You came here for a quick how-to in choosing the best temp nurse staffing agency. Among our other advice articles, this one should be bookmarked and shared with your colleagues because this hardly happens anymore. You ARE busy. Yet.. you’re never too busy to assure you are being employed by the right company.
What makes a nurse staffing agency the right choice?
The answer is nearly identical for YOU as their nurse employee, as it would be for their client in choosing them.
Transparency in pay packages and benefits.
Digital time keeping and digital operative procedures.
Professionalism in communications.
A verified history of good moral standing.
We can breeze through the first three – you’ve probably been through the rodeo before.
Be sure you know what you’re being paid, when, how, and that it’s within IRS regulatory standards. Yes, you can be held accountable for an over-inflated stipend and low hourly. Yes, your employer can too. Don’t let them lie to you about it and they should definitely be asked what the minimum or maximum of each can be for the position.
If the company isn’t in the year 2020 with their technology, your life is only going to be made more difficult. You’re a hot commodity! Don’t settle for an underperforming employer.
Whoever you work with within that potential employing agency is going to come and go. You will however receive a fairly constant standard of communication. If it’s good, that’s good! If not, you deserve better and again, you’re a hot commodity! As a high-demand healthcare provider, nurses are always welcome at healthy places of employment so you do not have to settle for less.
With the first three said, that last one seems weird, right? That’s the real piece of the puzzle. How do you know the company you’re about to work for is going to actually help you versus make money off you? How do you know the healthcare experience you are going to be thrown into is going to be relatively positive, for however long your contract may be?
How do you verify a moral standing in an employer, staffing agency or anything really?
Turn to the internet, because it’s the best bet we have of unveiling a hidden archive. Use multiple search engines, Google is the industry dominator but DuckDuckGo is a fabulous SERP-limited alternative. (That means it won’t serve you results it thinks you want, but results that you searched for).
Pick your search engine.
Hit the news tab above the search bar. Sometimes you have to search for something first, go ahead and just throw in that potential staffing agency and hit search.
Filter your results to show things within the prior 5 years.
Often you can search their website for certain bits of information by following a certain pattern. ex. “nursebackpack.com: career advice” can be entered in a search bar and our website will be searched for the terms “career advice” then display those results.
That’s it. Super easy, it can be easier than finding the job to begin with. All the effort we put into finding certain items or trying to search for that movie we can’t remember the name of… those are more difficult searches than this. Just peruse the press releases of the potential agency, double check for any government websites listing them as lawsuit parties, and keep your eyes peeled for ex-employee reviews. It’s not the point of a google review to have a team member say it’s great, so if those are listed that’s probably a bad sign too.
You’re doing great work out there, you are appreciated, Nurse Backpack loves you. Let us know if there’s more you want to see added here by emailing our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nurse Backpack is a free mobile application that enables professional credential management for end-users themselves. Alerts, reminders, resume package building and sending is possible for free from the mobile app. Built for nurses originally, school nurses, nursing students, lifeguards and many other professionals also use the app for their license and credential management.