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As an experienced RN, should I consider working for a staffing agency?

This is a question that I am often asked.  Although I have my own opinion, I think it’s most important to understand why this person is asking the question.  I’ll usually respond first by asking, what are you doing now? Followed by, what would you like to be doing if you could?  This often leads to a quick reply of what they are doing now and then what they would be doing if they could goes on much longer. This is where I help them find their own answer.  Both options offer employment, it’s just different approaches to how you engage.  You can be employed directly by a hospital, home care agency or doctor’s office for example, or you can be employed by a staffing company and be assigned to work at one of these employers. Both offer some pros and cons. However, if more flexibility and better work-life balance are important to you, the staffing agency approach may be more conducive to fitting your life at this time.

The beauty of working for a staffing agency is that you can stay, leave, and return as life changes course. Sometimes having to put your family, goals, and dreams on the backburner while working and hoping to finally get that time can pass you by. Wouldn’t it be worth considering an alternate way to work if you could pursue starting a family, care for aging parents, travel abroad, start a business, or volunteer for a cause close to your heart on your own timeline? Sometimes it’s not a matter of how will it look on your resume, but maybe how will it align with your life.-Michelle Murray, RN, BSN