Nursing is an exciting but challenging career and there are many advantages of becoming an agency nurse rather than an independent or NHS-employed nurse. Nurses join agencies for a variety of reasons- whether it be for financial or purely just for the challenge. This post will cover a number of those points, highlighting just some of the many advantages of nursing agency work.
Firstly, most nursing agency roles are better paid than their NHS counterparts- although you would not get into nursing for the money, this is a nice extra bonus to have as it provides adequate compensation for the difficult job, and makes the salary competitive with alternative careers.
As an agency nurse one of the greatest advantages is that you are able to choose your own hours. This flexibility gives you the chance to do anything else alongside work, including studying for further qualifications or work around your family commitments. Most nursing agencies will also help you with courses to further your skills and expertise, so if there is an area you are unsure of but wish to flourish in then it’s strongly recommended that you ask your agency if they can help. You will feel less pressure compared to that of the NHS, as you won’t have to deal with the constant red tape that most other nurses do.
Many NHS nurses feel a lack of support from management, within an agency you will have a strong support system behind you, helping you through any issues or problems you may encounter- this enables to concentrate solely on just getting your job done and nothing else.
Due to the sheer variety of placements and the different time scales involved with each, you would never experience the monotony of doing the same thing every single day and there is always work available when you want it. You will gradually pick up new skills and techniques across a broad range of disciplines, which will in turn open up and even a wider selection of placement opportunities, as you will have built up a skill set that you can use in different areas.
It is much more convenient to be part of an agency than to freelance on your own, as you would have to go through the hassle of setting up your own limited company- something which most nurses either don’t know how to do, do not have the necessary resources and funding or simply cannot be bothered to go the trouble of learning how to do so.
In summary, being part of a nursing agency is a great way to develop your skills and further your knowledge of many aspects of nursing, all whilst meeting the required standards to retain your registration. If you have become disillusioned working in the nursing industry within the NHS or elsewhere, rather than leaving the profession for good, you should definitely try working for an agency first as the diversity and range of assignments you will experience are sure to reinvigorate your love for nursing.
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This article has been written by Charlie Lake from Nursing 2000 , leaders in supplying all bands of nursing staff to all areas of the UK.