Myth vs. Fact: Career as an Agency Nurse

15 February 2023 By Libby McCaughey

Nursing can be an extremely rewarding career path to choose, and whether you are just starting out or have years of experience behind you, finding the right job can still be a daunting task. One of the best benefits about nursing is the amount of options you can choose – not only in specialities and environments but how and when you work. You can choose to work full time, part time, or as an agency nurse.

In past years, agency nurses have a largely negative perception from other staff and the media, which has put off many nurses from choosing this career path. We are here to show you that this is simply not true – agency nursing is full of hidden benefits and opportunities that not everyone is aware of. We are here to dispel some of the common myths that surround agency nursing and show why it is an extremely positive and rewarding choice for many people.

Myth #1 – Agency nurses don’t receive benefits

A common misconception in the healthcare sector is that agency work is inferior, and despite having higher daily wages, working with an agency will mean that you miss out on a lot of benefits that come with a permanent position. However, you will be surprised to learn that each nursing agency will offer a unique benefits package, and you can choose the one that is most suited to you. You can enjoy hourly rates based on your experience and specialities, online training and development options along with, and bonuses and incentives!

Myth #2 – I won’t feel like part of the team

Due to previous attitudes towards agency nursing, there is understandably a lot of concern around how you will be treated when you arrive on shift to work. Nowadays, you will find that there is no us vs. them when it comes to permanent staff and agency staff working together – in fact you will probably be warmly and gratefully welcomed! Thanks to the current staffing crisis and the burden that the healthcare sector is currently under due to the pandemic and an ageing population, healthcare employees have come to recognise the crucial role that agency workers play within each department. Permanent staff have become used to seeing new faces when on shift and have developed their own ways to integrate you quickly and efficiently.

Myth #3 – It won’t look good on my CV

Agency nurses require the same number of qualifications and skills as any other nurse, and perhaps even additional skills from having to work in so many different environments. These skills include having to adapt immediately and seamlessly, undertaking a wider number of tasks when on shift and being more patient focused. These skills will give you a competitive edge and are widely recognised by future employers.

Myth #4 – I will have no support

You might think that you don’t have any one manager or HR representative to turn to when you are an agency nurse which means you don’t have as much support as permanent staff. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. You will likely have a direct point of contact that is part of the leadership team in the Surgery when it comes to day to day issues. In addition, you will benefit from our dedicated consultant team helping you to find work that suits you and being on hand to answer any questions or queries that you may have. Whether it is concerns about your shifts, pay, hours or work environment, there will always be someone to help and support you through your time as an agency nurse.

Myth #5 – There is not enough work

One of the biggest myths about working as an agency nurse is that you will just be expected to pick up odd shifts here and there, making it an unsustainable career choice. The NHS is crying out for staff in every single sector at the moment, and you have the luxury of being able to choose the jobs and roles that suit you. If you want to pursue a certain skill or work environment, then all you have to do is let your agency know and they can help you find a suitable role. Many people enjoy the freedom that comes with a career as an agency nurse, and there is always plenty of work to choose from!

Myth #6 – I will find it hard to get a full-time job

Many people think that making the transition from agency work to a permanent role is extremely difficult, but you will find that you actually have an edge over other candidates. Agency work will provide you with a whole new set of skills and advantages that you would not have if you went into a permanent role and stayed in one place. Agency nursing shows that you are adaptable and skilled at meeting new people – and the best part is that these skills will only grow the longer you do it.

Myth #7 – I won’t get to choose my jobs

A lot of people think that jobs and roles are automatically assigned without much thought, but the reality is you will get to determine everything! You get to choose what hours you will work and where you will work, so there won’t be any unexpected surprises! If you only want to work a couple of extra shifts a month alongside your permanent job to add to your savings then you can! If you are looking for long term agency nursing to fit around you and your plans then all you need to do is let your agency know your availability – it really is that simple. The agency will take into account your hours, location and speciality when they find you jobs – it really is one of the most flexible career paths on the NHS and you can mold it to fit your lifestyle.

Myth #8 – Agency nursing is just a temporary option

Agency nursing was always viewed as a stepping stone until you found the right permanent position, and many people still aren’t aware that it is a viable career option. These days, thanks to high wages, flexibility, and benefits on offer it has become a popular career choice. Agency work not only offers you job security and new skills, but it also offers you a healthier work / life balance that is rare to find when working in the health care sector these days.

If you like the idea of variety, flexibility and less pressure when working, then becoming an agency nurse could be the perfect move for you. Many people love the freedom that it provides, and alongside the brilliant rates of pay, agency nursing has become a viable way of working rather than just a simple stop gap.


When it comes to looking for a agency 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.

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