Misconceptions about being an agency nurse

24 February 2023 By Libby McCaughey

Nursing is an incredibly rewarding job, and while it might seem like a lot of hard work, all that time and effort will certainly pay off. We are going to dispel some of the common myths that you may have heard about working as an agency nurse in this blog and show you just how good it can be.

1. My job isn’t secure

The number of shifts that you work is completely up to you, you can fit agency nursing around you and your lifestyle. Whether you are looking for the odd shift here and there to help top up your savings in between your full-time job, or you are looking for full-time agency work, there is an option to suit you. If you are worried that agency working will affect things such as mortgage applications, then you don’t need to worry! Specialist mortgage advisors will be able to help you save and apply for your dream home, even when you are nursing through an agency. Agency work not only offers job security, but you get to choose when you want to work.

2. I won’t get any benefits as an agency nurse

Whilst the benefits that an employer will offer a full-time permanent nurse will be different, there are still plenty of benefits on offer for you to take advantage of. Every agency will offer different benefits, but you can expect to enjoy holiday pay, hourly rates based on speciality and grade, online training and development and exciting incentives such as referral bonuses! You might not think that agency work will come with added extras, but you will be pleasantly surprised when you investigate what is on offer from your agency.

3. There isn’t enough work for me to take up agency nursing

Many people believe that agency nursing is simply the odd job here and there, and they aren’t aware that this is a viable full-time option. If you want to progress in a certain area, then just let your agency know and they will try and place you in a suitable role. Many agency nurses enjoy the feeling of a full-time job without having to worry about commitment.

4. I won’t get much say in where / when I work

It is a common misconception that the agency chooses where and when you will work, but the reality is that you determine everything. You have a say of what hours you want to work and where, so there are no nasty commutes or surprises. If you simply want to work a couple of shifts a month or the odd weekend then you can! Alternatively, if you want to work overtime or extra hours to save for your next holiday, then you simply need to put in the request. The agency will take into consideration your location and speciality, and if you don’t want to work somewhere because it’s too far then you don’t need to accept the job.

5. I will find it hard to secure a full time, permanent nursing job

Agency work gives you a whole set of advantages that you might not find if you take up a permanent role. You will find that you work in a variety of different roles and settings, all with different procedures. Your experiences will be different to permanent staff, and this will make you appealing to future employers. Agency nursing shows that you are adaptable and skilled at meeting new people, and your skillset will just continue to grow the longer you do it.

6. Agency nursing is just a temporary option

Agency nursing was once viewed as a steppingstone until you found the right permanent position, or as topping up your bank balance with the odd shift. These days agency nursing has now become a popular career choice. The freedom it provides, the pay packets and the benefits are just some of the reasons why more nurses are choosing agency nursing as their main job role.

7. I’ll be treated different to permanent staff when on shift

There may have been a time when the general view was us vs. them when it came to permanent staff and agency working when on shift – but that is a thing of the past! The healthcare sector has now come to recognise the critical role that agency workers play within each department, which is why agency nurses are now heavily relied upon. Permanent staff are now used to seeing new faces when on shift and have developed their own ways to get workers up to speed and feel part of the team quickly. They appreciate agency nurses support, skills, and experiences and very often agency nurses will blend into the environment positively.

8. I won’t be supported

Many people believe that if they start agency nursing then they won’t have as much support as they would in a permanent role with their employer. In fact, you may end up with more support!

At Medical Staffing, you will have a whole team dedicated to finding you the work you want, the hours that you want, and they are always on hand to answer any queries or questions. Whether it is concerns about your shifts or your pay, there will be someone who will be able to help and support you throughout your time as an agency nurse.

Not to mention, you’ll also have the support of our Chief Nurse Lorraine. Her knowledge of the sector and the roles is second to none. Lorraine has over 30 years’ experience in healthcare and wants to use her vast experience in acute care to help healthcare professionals feel that they have a voice.

There has never been a better time to start your career as an agency nurse, why not give agency nursing a try? We hope that this blog has cleared up some of the common myths and misconceptions about agency nursing for you. if you’re looking for an exciting new chapter in your nursing career, get in contact ​

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