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Nurse Aide: How Can You Earn More?

Whether you’re looking to pick up extra shifts or find a permanent position, many nursing professionals register with a healthcare staffing agency because we typically pay higher rates than state averages. After you’re registered and ready to accept shifts, we have additional tips that can help you earn even more.

1 Look for Incentives or Other Offers From the Hiring Facility

While not standard, some facilities will offer incentives for nursing staff who accept shifts with them. This is more likely to happen if the facility is located in a rural area that requires more travel, or if the shift is a last-minute requirement. It may mean more flexibility on your end, but it’s definitely something to watch for.

Overtime work and pay is also possible when using a staffing agency, but it may require that you are at one location for a certain number of hours per week and it would need to be approved by the facility. If you’re looking to accept assignments that place you in a facility for more than a few days in a row, ask if overtime is a possibility.

2 Build Credibility as a Reliable Employee

At a healthcare staffing agency, last-minute shift needs are often offered at a higher rate. When an account manager is looking to fill those shifts quickly, it’s likely that they will be offered to their most dependable employees first.

If you’re eager to prove yourself as capable and reliable, you’ll need to build a trusting relationship with your account manager. That means being open and honest about what work you’re willing to take on and following through on shift commitments. Of course, on the rare occasion an issue occurs and you aren’t able to make a shift, always let your account manager know as soon as possible so that they have plenty of time to find coverage.

The best tip for earning more with a healthcare staffing agency is to be open and forthcoming with your account manager.

3 Take on Nursing Home or Hospice Work

As the population ages, the demand for quality nursing personnel is only increasing, especially at nursing homes. These facilities are obligated to meet minimum staffing requirements not only to maintain state and federal compliance, but also to ensure a safe workplace for their healthcare staff. Therefore, they are frequently looking to bring on more people both in a per-diem and permanent placement capacity.

If you’re passionate about bedside care, work with your account manager to pick up shifts in a nursing home, assisted living facility, adult daycare facility or in hospice care.

4 Choose Temporary Assignments

If you want to earn more immediately, but don’t want to take on a long-term position, a staffing agency can connect you with 
short-term nursing assignments. The key here is to choose an agency that has a wide range of facility clientele and doesn’t have minimum mandatory hours. The more flexibility you have, the easier it is to take on work that’s right for you.

5 Go For an Advanced Degree

If you’re a CNA looking to not only earn more, but also take the next step in your career, consider becoming an LPN/LVN. Based on what state you live in, you could see a salary increase of anywhere between 36% – 87%!

Because each state has its own board of nursing and educational and clinical requirements, there’s no one standard path a CNA can take towards becoming an LPN. You’ll need to complete an educational program and then pass a national licensing exam. Community colleges as well as private vocational schools offer LPN programs, which typically take a year of full-time study to complete. In the meantime, having a flexible work schedule can help you maintain a healthy work/life balance.

If you’re an LPN looking to become an RN, see if your school offers a program that allows you to apply your credits towards a nursing degree. For RNs, the more leadership experience you have, the more opportunities you will have to earn more in a supervisory role.

6 Work With Your Agency

The best tip for earning more with a healthcare staffing agency is to be open and forthcoming with your account manager. If you’re only looking to accept shifts that pay a certain rate, your account manager will be able to tell you approximately how many shift offers you can expect within your requirements, and if they recommend any steps you can take to reach a higher earning bracket. While they do need to fill shifts for their facility clients, it’s in their best interest to make sure that YOU are happy, working and motivated to work more.

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Choosing an agency that pays weekly is important. While not technically earning more, getting the money that you earn faster is incredibly beneficial. Knowing you’ll receive weekly direct deposits each and every Friday gives great peace of mind.

Being transparent about your needs and career goals with your agency will help grow your relationship, bring about more opportunities, and get you earning more.

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