Fill out your new career PROfile on and let employers come to you • SIGN UP

What type of training do agency nurses receive to account for their ability to perform tasks much more quickly than other nurses?



Dear Donna,

I find agency nurses who never worked at a facility always finish their work, including medications and wound care, in half the time of the regular facility nurses. Can you explain the type of training an agency nurse receives that accounts for this difference?

Wonders About Agency Nurses

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Wonders About Agency Nurses,

Agency nurses usually don’t get any type of training at all by the agency. They typically are required to be experienced nurses, as well as very adaptable, so they can hit the ground running in any facility/unit where they are sent.

It’s also possible that because they are not part of the regular staff, they are somewhat removed from the daily politics and casual socialization that might go on in some units. In other words, they may be very focused on getting their work done and getting out, especially since they never know if they’ll be back on that unit again.

If you work with an agency nurse that seems to be particularly well organized and with good time management skills, let them know your observation and ask if they have any tips they can share
with you.

If any agency nurses reading this have additional insight or input, please leave your comments below. If any other staff nurses have similar observations as the nurse who submitted this question, I’d love to hear from them, too.

Best wishes,


About Author

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at and, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www.

Leave A Reply