Agency nursing can be an extremely rewarding way of working for nurses at any stage in their careers; from the newly qualified to established, permanent or NHS nurses.
Agency nursing job description
Agency nurses work on temporary or ‘locum’ contracts in a wide variety of healthcare settings. This is different from a permanent nurse who would work for a single employer over a much longer period. Becoming an agency nurse has a wide variety of benefits that can help enhance your career, develop your skills, and increase your knowledge with every single assignment.
Benefits of being an agency nurse in the UK
1. Flexibility and choice
Working as an agency nurse allows you to choose the assignments that suit you and your life. You can control when you accept an assignment and even how you slot shifts in around further study, childcare, holiday and much more. All you need to do is communicate your availability with your recruitment consultant and they will source the roles and positions that align with it.
2. Higher financial rewards
Agency work can mean better rates of pay, particularly if you have lots of availability and are willing to commit to night shifts or last-minute placements to cover sick leave.
3. Constant skill development
Working as an agency nurse means you can be exposed to a wide variety of systems, processes, and requirements; from the type of care you’re administering, to the type of computer system you use to document appointments. The more assignments you do the more strings you can add to your bow, allowing you to adapt to new environments quickly and hit the ground running on every assignment.
You can pick and choose assignments that will allow you to develop your skills in a wide variety of scenarios, healthcare environments, and specialisms. This can be particularly good if you are newly qualified and looking to find an area you might want to specialise in for the future.
5. Ongoing career support
Working with an agency, especially over a long period of time, means that you have access to specialist consultants who know you, your skills, the areas you want to grow and develop in and where you ultimately want your career to go. This means you have better focus and guidance in picking the assignments that are going to contribute to your career goals.
6. More opportunities
Healthcare staffing agencies spend years developing deep networks and special relationships with both NHS and private healthcare providers across the UK; this means they have access to hundreds of locum roles and positions every month. They can suggest multiple and even back-to-back assignments that suit your life, your goals, and your skill development.
7. No ‘office politics’
As you are only with any facility for a contract-specified period you are separate from the ‘office politics’ of the permanent staff, this means you can remain objective and only have to concentrate on administering care.
8. Travel opportunities
A larger healthcare staffing agency, like Medical Staffing, can have access to assignments and positions both local to where you live and around the country. This means, if you are willing to, you can travel and experience a wide range of different environments.
9. Creating a professional network
The more assignments you work at different facilities, the greater your network of professional contacts in the industry. This can be useful if you choose to discontinue your partnership with an agency and choose to source locum assignments on your own.
10. Gain invaluable experience
The experience you can gain as a locum agency nurse is second to none. From being able to adapt quickly to any environment, system, and process to being able to administer exceptional care in a wide range of specialisms, locum work is a simple yet effective way to ensure you have a very broad range of experience.
How to become an agency nurse
There are several ways to become an agency nurse, one way is to go directly to an agency and ask what steps are required. At Medical Staffing, we require that you register as a limited company, provide documentation of your training, compliance, and ID.
We have made the entire process as simple as possible with an online compliance portal and registration process! Our consultants are on hand to guide you through the entire process and get you started on your locum journey. If you are interested in some of the best nursing roles, all you need to do is register with us today.