We've received a number of questions from student nurses asking about how and when they can begin their work as a temporary nurse. So we asked former nurse, and Medacs Healthcare business development manager, Suzanne Pollard, for her advice.
If you're about to start your nursing career, it is really important that you gain as much experience as possible, check out examples of good practice in other trusts and hospitals and incorporate them into your working practices. As a student or newly qualified nurse, you are limited to accepting healthcare support worker shifts but this can still provide you with invaluable experience, it can broaden your clinical horizons, introduce you to new areas of practice and provide a welcome additional source of income, whilst you study and complete your preceptorship.
As a former Theatre Manager and Lead Nurse myself, I would always favour employing newly qualified nurses who have additional temporary nursing experience in other trusts and hospitals, as this shows you are keen to broaden your knowledge base, are flexible and willing to do additional shifts when required.
Start at the right time
That said, no responsible nursing agency should be offering you qualified temporary nursing shifts until you have completed at least six months in an acute, primary care or community setting. Remember it's your PIN number and you have worked hard to get it; look after it and don’t put yourself at risk before you have even started.
Checklist: five items to consider when choosing a nursing agency
If you decide to work through a nursing agency or local staff bank, you may want to think about the following:
Once you decide to do some temporary agency shifts, check out the range of nursing roles that are available to you.
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