Staff Nurse or Agency – What’s Best for You?

Improving Your Medical Resume

Schedule flexibility, work-life balance and self-care activities are essential considerations for nurses. As you decide on which nursing career pathway is right for you, consider what is most important regarding these issues. Additionally, increasing health care demands, salary inequalities, and lack of autonomy may also cause you to seek ways to improve your working conditions and job satisfaction. If you are considering working as a staff nurse or an agency nurse and want to know more about both career paths, here are some insights.


Staff nurses earn an annual salary, while agency nurses typically earn hourly wages. Staff nurses also receive a benefits package that includes paid time off, health insurance and a retirement plan. Agency nurses rarely receive a benefits package. However, agency nurses can negotiate higher salaries, typically earning more than traditional nurses.

Work Environment

A vast selection of options is available to both agency and staff nurses. Agency and staff nurses can work in health care facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, patient’s homes, family practices and specialty facilities. However, agency nurses travel for work and might be at several locations for a brief amount of time. The staff nurse consistently works in one place.


It is common for a staff nurse to concentrate in one type of care or area of health, such as geriatrics or pediatrics. An agency nurse, however, might have experience in several specialties. The agency nurse helps health care providers solve staffing agencies, so they rarely specialize. Instead, they help where they are needed. The result is that agency nurses often have more varied experiences than staff nurses.


As a staff nurse, you will receive a weekly schedule with a set number of hours. Your nursing manager will likely determine this schedule. By comparison, agency nurses can arrange their schedules and work the number of hours they desire. So, while a staff nurse can expect a routine schedule, an agency nurse might have a more flexible schedule.


Agency nurses do not have as many opportunities to become part of a team and form meaningful relationships with co-workers. However, agencies do an excellent job of helping nurses find positions where they can collaborate with staff nurses effectively. Staff nurses have the chance to build long-term relationships with colleagues because they stay in the same place.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is publishing that employment for all nurses will grow by 9% between now and 2030. This number includes both staff and agency nurses. Many nurses are attracted to agency work due to the pay, travel, and insulation from the politics of the facility. Estimates put the number of agency nurses in America at over 1,700,00 out of 3,000,000.

Power Personnel can assist you in finding a fantastic nursing opportunity no matter what your specialty. The professional recruiters at Power Personnel can find opportunities to meet your unique needs.

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