Becoming an agency nurse is a decision which is very personal to you, your personality and your lifestyle. It is worth noting, however, that it is a thoroughly rewarding career that offers a wide range of benefits.
It is also a career option which is open to nurses from all walks of life. Regardless of whether you are a newly qualified nurse having completed your preceptorship, a substantive post holder looking for an additional income or a nurse looking to take on full-time agency work, registering with a nursing agency is certainly a path worth considering.
What to consider before seeking work through a nursing agency
Not all nursing agencies are the same, so it’s worth taking the time to speak to an agency’s representatives. Find out how they will support you as a qualified nurse to maintain and develop your clinical skills.
For example, can the agency provide effective appraisals and revalidation support? Can they provide the quantity and quality of clinical placements to suit your needs and how quickly will you be paid for the work that you have undertaken?
At Medacs Healthcare, we understand the demands of agency nursing today. We feel passionate about supporting and developing our nurses to deliver the best person-centred care possible at a time and location to suit them.
Working in a new environment
As an agency nurse, you need to be able to adapt to new environments and ever-changing situations, anticipating the needs of the patients and other team members.
Acting appropriately and professionally at all times, you may be called upon to make on-the-spot decisions regarding a patient’s care. It is these decision-making skills and ensuring that the patient is always at the heart of everything you do, which make agency nurses such a valuable part of the team.
Adopting the right approach
Life as an agency nurse gives you the opportunity to work alongside new team members on a regular basis. As a professional, your skills and experiences will give you the confidence to quickly forge appropriate relationships with your patients, colleagues and other members of multi-disciplinary teams.
Being confident, open and friendly can quickly build you a strong reputation as a flexible and adaptable agency nurse. You must also be able to demonstrate a willingness to learn new skills.
These qualities can give you an advantage over other agency nurses. Leaving a positive, long-lasting impression on your employers will ensure that you are invited back again and again.
Getting the work-life balance right
Deciding when, where and how often to work is one of the most rewarding features of becoming an agency nurse. This freedom gives you the ability to balance both your personal and professional life.
Working as an agency nurse can offer a stable, flexible full-time career. It also allows you to gain experience in an array of different working environments.
Remember, as an agency nurse you are also entitled to paid holidays and access to a work-based pension scheme. There has never been a better time to consider agency nursing as a career.
Find out more
If you are interested in learning more about working as an agency nurse in England and Wales, please contact our nursing team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 442 207 during office hours. For information on agency nursing in Scotland, please email: email@example.com or call 0141 225 5451 during office hours.
Read more in the agency nursing series:
*This post was originally published on 20/04/2015 and has since been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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