Agency nursing is a career path where qualified nurses work on temporary contracts across a wide variety of healthcare settings. Agency nurses do not tend to work with one single employer over a long period of time, instead they are employed by an agency rather than the hospital and swap their roles almost continuously.
Becoming an agency nurse has a wide variety of benefits that can ultimately help to enhance your career, develop your skill set, and increase your knowledge by opening yourself up to opportunities and advantages that you would not have come across in a traditional nursing role. We’ve put together our top 10 reasons why becoming an agency nurse is a no-brainer and will make you wonder why you didn’t sign up sooner!
It is a common misconception that to be an agency nurse means leaving your current full-time position. However, it is possible to adopt a flexible, hybrid way of working around your job by specifying how many hours you want to work. Whether that is one shift a month, 3 times a week or 40+ hours a week– you can work when you want to. You can pick and choose when you want to work, so you don’t have to worry about where you are on the 7-week rota, if you don’t want to work Saturday night shifts then you don’t have to. It is as easy as that!
Agency nursing allows you to choose the shifts and assignments that fit around your life, and you can make the work fit around holidays, childcare, and further study. All you need to do is communicate when you are available and choose the roles that work with you.
When you are working with an agency to find nursing roles, you are able to choose where you want to work. This means that you won’t have to travel too far to find your shifts and waste your precious free time commuting.
However, if you don’t mind how far you have to travel then you open up even more opportunities! You will have the chance to work in new hospitals, clinics and health care facilities that you wouldn’t have the opportunity to try if you were in a permanent role. It is the perfect time to widen your skills and experience without having to commit to anything full-time. You are able to choose the right opportunities to suit your lifestyle and requirements.
Benefits without being full time
Some people will avoid Agency Nursing because they think they won’t have access to any benefits whilst they are on a temporary contract, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! Many agencies offer benefits to their agency staff as perks and incentives, including:
Provide support for mandatory training
Take the admin work away with diary and rota management
Provide Clinical support
And many more other incentives!
Develop new skills
When you become a qualified nurse, you will have a wide range of skills that may go unused if you are working in the same permanent job for years on end and could end up being forgotten.
When you become an Agency Nurse, you never know when you will need to put those skills to use!! It allows you to work in a variety of different settings and reignite old skills, as well as developing new skills that can be used in the future. All of this helps to improve your nursing skills, and improve the care that you can give to your patients.
For many qualified healthcare professionals, working as an agency nurse can lead to many new opportunities that you never even knew existed! Agencies can offer nurses all sorts of new and exciting assignments to give you experiences that you never even dreamed of.
Agency nursing is full of new adventures, from learning new specialties to working with new patients in new settings – the possibilities are endless!
Meet new people
Working is an essential part of most people’s lives, and it is important that you enjoy what you do to ensure that you are both successful and happy. A huge part of your work happiness is the people and the teams that you work with every day, and when you are an Agency Nurse, you are exposed to a wide variety and range of other healthcare professionals so you are constantly meeting new people.
Not only can you create a wide network of people and new opportunities, if you find that you get on particularly well with a certain group of people, you get to choose how often you go back there! Agency Nursing can really open up doors that were previously closed and meeting new and exciting people is an integral part of the process.
Most Agency Nurses receive their pay on a weekly basis rather than monthly, and the regular cash flow can help to boost your full-time earnings. Whether you are looking to top up your income or saving for something special, more frequent wages means that your money is easier to manage and budget, with no more end of the month payday blues!!
The amount that you can earn totally depends on your personal circumstances, and you dictate how much extra goes into your pocket. If you have a lot of availability and are willing to pick up extra shifts on the weekend whilst still working your full-time job Agency Nursing can really make a difference to your bank balance.
No office politics
Being an Agency Nurse not only means you can meet some of the best colleagues, it also means that you can stay out of the office politics. It has happened to everyone at some point in their life, but sometimes there are certain situations that you simply don’t want to get involved in.
As an Agency Nurse, you can dictate where you work to avoid issues like this, but you can also keep your head down and stay separate from the dramas of permanent staff. The ability to get your head down and work without worrying about upsetting people means that you can totally focus on the job in hand and deliver exceptional patient care whilst remaining objective.
Agency nurses are of value to healthcare providers
Agency nurses make it possible for healthcare providers to have enough staff to provide quality care to their patients. When somewhere is short staffed with a high patient to staff ratio, it can jeopardise patient care which in turn leads to unnecessary stress on the rest of the team.
Agency nurses help to ensure that any gaps are filled and that all shifts have the right amount of cover, whether you are covering sick leave, maternity leave, annual leave or simply helping when the ward is too full. The hospital will be grateful that they have someone there who is appropriately qualified with the right amount of experience to simply step into the role, without having to worry about on-the-job training or teaching them the ropes.
Working with an agency, especially if you work over a long period of time with the same agency, means that you will have access to specialist consultants who know you and your skillset. They will also know the areas that you want to grow and develop, and ultimately where you want your career to take you. You simply don’t get the same amount of support from a permanent role, and by becoming an agency nurse you have better focus and guidance in picking the assignment and shifts that will contribute to your end career goals.
Whether you are picking up extra weekend shifts to save for a holiday, using Agency Nursing as your full-time income, or you only want a few shifts to supplement your income, agency nursing has hidden benefits that can help you to succeed; From flexible shifts to fit around your job and lifestyle, to regular paydays to help you budget, Agency nursing provides opportunities and experience that will ultimately help you to succeed in your chosen career.
When it comes to looking for your next nursing opportunity, we’ve got you covered. We can ensure you are always able to provide the best care possible by sourcing short and long-term assignments, out of hours, or back-to-back roles. We offer full diary management and get to know you, your skills, and your long-term career goals so we can find assignments to suit you. Our specialist consultants are always on hand to help you with onboarding and compliance support.